The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has reported on a fake website for crypto exchange KuCoin that asks users to deposit money to unlock funds from frozen accounts.

The website masquerading as a trading platform states that KuCoin is regulated by the HKMA because the Hong Kong exchange is licensed by the local authorities. In addition, the suspicious website displays documents purporting to be issued by the HKMA, requiring users to pay a fee to recover funds from frozen accounts.

The HKMA announced that it has no connection with the platform and has not issued any permits to the KuCoin exchange to operate in the region. KuCoin recently withdrew its application for a license to allow virtual asset trading (VATP) in Hong Kong. The management of the crypto exchange has not yet made public statements about the fake website.

In March, the US Department of Justice charged KuCoin co-founders Chun Gan and Ke Tang with violating the Bank Secrecy Act by operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and facilitating money laundering. The KuCoin co-founders remain free, but face up to ten years in prison. Within 24 hours after the filing of the lawsuit by the US Department of Justice, users withdrew crypto assets worth about $800 million from the exchange, but KuCoin management was quick to assure clients of the safety of the assets.

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has already begun to inspect all crypto trading platforms that want to serve residents of this administrative region of China. At the beginning of June, the department published a list of crypto exchanges that received permission to operate.