Three Hong Kong users of LINE communication app saw their accounts broken into recently, with hackers stealing the identities to lure contacts into buying prepaid cards for online games, Apple Daily reported Wednesday.
The friends who were lured into buying the cards suffered monetary losses, while the people whose accounts were hacked found themselves in an uncomfortable position as they had to explain the situation to their friends.
LINE is a communication app that allows users to make free voice calls and send free text messages. It is said to have more than 410 million users worldwide.
The report cited one of three victims, identified as Ms. Lam, as saying that her friends lost a total of HK$4,000 as fraudsters hacked into her account. The hackers were said to have changed the password, blocking the access for Lam.
The fraudsters sent text messages to the victims’ contacts, asking them to buy prepaid cards from convenience stores. The cards would then be guided into getting linked with fake accounts.
Police in Wong Tai Sin received three reports on April 20 on the LINE incident, involving a loss of HK$9,500, a police spokesperson was quoted as saying. The report cited a source as saying that the case is similar to a previous fraud incident involving the use of Skype, but it is difficult to arrest the fraudsters because they hide their tracks well or they could be from overseas.
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