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Fraud and scam

Tools and tips to guard against cyber crimes.

What issues have you noticed?

What is fraud?

Fraud is a suspicious activity on your account that you didn't know about, including credit card or account fraud, or loan application under a false name. For example, after getting your OTP verification code, online banking or mobile banking personal details, the fraudster conducts credit card or bank account fraud.


Examples of fraud include:


  • unrecognized transaction on your credit or debit card
  • suspicious log-in activity on your online banking account
  • identity theft - a fraudster uses your details to apply for card or loan under your name
  • online or mobile bank log-in credential, debit card password, one-time password (OTP) verification code information fraudulently obtained by unknown individuals

What is a scam?

A scam involves you making or authorising the payment, bank transfer or authorised transfer to the fraudsters. You're persuaded to hand over your security code, SMS OTP content or transfer a sum of money, not realising you're being conned by a criminal.


Examples of scams include:


  • fake investment opportunities, prompting you to transfer money for investment purposes
  • false job opportunities to unsuspecting job seekers to lure people into giving them money or vital information
  • requests for money from a scammer who has befriended you or struck up a romance online
  • organisations pose as charitable initiatives and attempt to trick you into giving personal information and money

Table of content

Understanding common types of scam

  • Bank, Government impersonation scam
  • Investment and crypto-currency scams
  • Romance scam
  • Job search scams

Three rules to prevent fraud

Help us fighting fraud, by reporting any suspicious communications

Understanding common types of scam

Bank, Government Impersonation scam

'You have missed your credit card payment due date. Please make the payment immediately to the following account to maintain your credit score.'

'This is OO court. As you are recently involved in an anti-money laundering case, we are now enforcing debt judgement on your bank account. Please transfer all of your deposit temporarily to this secured account opened for you.'

'Center for Disease Control and Prevention kindly reminds you: Given COVID-19 pandemic, we are now providing NT30K to NT50K financial subsidies to those with confirmed COVID-19. Please provide your bank account number for further payment processes.'

Bank and government administration impersonation is a common type of scam, where a fraudster impersonates someone from the bank in order to trick customers from providing credentials. Through phone call, SMS, social media methods, fraudsters can trick customers into making payments to them.


Do remember:

  • HSBC will never phone you or email you asking sensitive personal information (such as your bank account or password)
  • HSBC will never phone you and ask you to wire money to the payment account that you do not use
  • The court will only notify individuals to make an appearance to court in writing, and not in other contact methods such as phone call, SMS, social media
  • Please use the official websites of banks or government agencies when conducting payment or applying for government subsidy. Do not wire money or provide sensitive data by listening to the unknown individual on the phone

Investment and crypto-currency scams

'Hi, I am OOO analyst’s investment assistant, join our LINE group to get three hot stocks with promising high-returns.'

'Recommending you a very useful crypto-currency exchange, register now and get $1000 USD in return!'

One of the most common trick con artists use is pose as brokers or investment advisers, where they make promises in giving high returns in a short period. Once customers start pouring their money into the 'fake' investment opportunities or crypto-currencies, they end up emptying their pockets rather than getting rich quickly and easily. Common methods may be,

  • Fraudsters impersonating bank employees or consultants and promote products or request customers to wire money
  • Send SMS promoting hot stocks or invite customers to join wealth management group chats via social media or dating apps, and lie that opening a designated bank account can open up their chances of buying “false” investment products

Prior to making any investments, make sure to conduct your own research, understand how the investment works, and the potential returns and risks.

Please remember:

  • HSBC does not use our name to promote or ask customers to wire money on other websites or social media apps
  • HSBC does not provide any account opening services via mobile app. Please use our official website for digital account opening and download to use our HSBC Taiwan mobile app to avoid internet or social media scams
  • Crypto-currency is not a financial product officially approved by the Financial Supervisory Commission R.O.C (Taiwan). It is unregulated, highly speculative, and do not fall under the investor protection. HSBC Taiwan also does not offer any crypto-currency transaction products and services. Fraudsters may set up spoof websites and fake companies that have similar (or the same) names as genuine investment organisations to steal your data and finances

Romance scam

'I'm a little short on cash right now. Do you think you can help me out by wiring some money to tide me over? Even a few thousand dollars will help.'

'I have a large inheritance but I can’t access the money now. If you could lend me some money, I could access the inheritance and we could spend it together.'

'Darling, I would love to marry you but I don’t have any enough money to travel to Taiwan.'

Romance Scam begins with a fast-moving, online relationship, where somebody you have never met in person pretends to have feelings for you and then tricks you into sending gifts or money. Look out for those that start with small requests but will ask for more as well as emotional life stories. Always look out for red flags and do not easily provide personal information and transfer funds to strangers.

Job search scams

'Make money quick and easy! We're hiring people to assist in making money transfers. No experience or education required. All you have to do is send us a copy of your identity card and proof of income to apply. Limited openings, better call us now!'

'This is an easy job. We just need to borrow your bank account for the money transfers. How it works is we'll deposit some money to your account, and once you've wired the money to our account overseas, you'll earn a commission. Easy, right? All we need is a copy of your identity card, proof of your income and some cash upfront to make sure you won't run away once you've received our money for the transfers. It's just for our precaution.'

Slow down and think – have you ever wondered why your 'new boss' needs to borrow your bank account for transfers? Why does the company need you to give them detailed copies of your payslip, proof of address and identity card at such an initial stage of a job opportunity? And why do you have to pay them before you start work? The truth is: you thought you found the perfect job, but it was nothing more than an elaborate scam. Giving out your personal information already amplifies your chance of losing money. Fraudsters only need your online banking credentials, a recent headshot, one-time-passwords (OTPs), your date of birth and identity number to complete a transaction or make a transfer in your name. In fact, all that's needed to get a loan from a bank is a copy of your identity card, payslip and proof of your home address. A scammer can easily apply to borrow money and leave you responsible for their debt.

Even if you're digitally savvy, you shouldn't underestimate the damage fake online job offers could cause. If the recruitment advertisement does not properly and clearly disclose company details or only left social media accounts for contact, you should be extremely cautious. Look for the firm’s background information, its scale of operation and its address and avoid revealing sensitive details or information.

Three rules to prevent fraud

Whether it is on social media, by e-mail or on the phone, scammers will try their best to steal your personal information and money, riding on your psychological weaknesses to obtain your personal data and your trust. Don’t rely on others, learn how to protect yourself.

Be cautious before sharing personal information

  • Avoid giving your signature card, credit card, debit card, or password to others to prevent fraudsters from taking your savings
  • Secure your wireless network, and prevent using public devices (such as in the library) or public WiFi in using mobile banking services. If necessary, please be careful and check if anyone is monitoring
  • Protect your mobile phone and tablet devices by avoiding the use of jailbroken phones, or fraudulent mobile applications or other suspicious method to log-in online banking services to prevent the risk of having your password from being stolen
  • Be wary of telling others your financial situation. If someone asks you about your finances, or even ask you to wire money, be extremely careful

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is

  • Remember the old saying: there's no such thing as a free lunch. Criminals may offer you attractive services or generous rewards, that can all be yours, as long as you make an advance payment
  • Pretend that your deceased family members’ investment had huge earnings and require you to process inheritance, do not fall into the trap
  • HSBC will never require you to pay fees to ensure loan approval

Keep calm, don't panic

  • Criminals may spoof their phone call, SMS, or emails to get your trust. Please be wary.
  • Read the SMS OTP content carefully and keep in mind this may contain fake transaction activities or it’s not sent officially by HSBC
  • Do not follow fraudster’s advice in setting up transfer, pre-defined account, and ATM procedures

Help us fighting fraud, by reporting any suspicious communications

Listening to what you have to say about services matters to us. It's easy to share your ideas, stay informed and join the conversation. To improve the protection of customers' rights for the elderly or customers with special needs, the Bank provides relatives or friends to accompany them to participate in the communication to understand the product information, and provides enough time to consider whether to apply for related products. Please contact us via contact center (02)6616-6000 or email if any doubt/concern or further explanation is needed.