HK anti-scam film faces cyber sabotage and threats
Published: Nov 27, 2023 07:42 PM

Photo: Beijing News

Photo: Beijing News

Recently, there have been reports of a significant amount of gambling website information in the Hong Kong anti-scam film Quick Counterattack. The movie's director clarified to the media that the version of the film containing gambling website information is a pirated copy, and gambling websites "maliciously" inserted advertisements, according to a report by the Beijing News.

The film's creators have also faced threats, and they have reported the incidents to the police, said director Liang Wei.

Quick Counterattack, featuring renowned Hong Kong actor Lui Leung-wai, was premiered on November 14 on various domestic video platforms, after receiving approval from the National Radio and Television Administration as a significant thematic online film project. 

Adapted from multiple real cases, the storyline exposes the dark web of cybercrimes, where criminals exploit scams and violence to develop an underground network of criminal activities, aiming to raise awareness about emerging criminal tactics and protect the public from illicit threats.

Liang told the Beijing News that on the third day after the film's release, he received calls from the film's producers and law enforcement, saying that the movie had been reported to contain extensive content related to online gambling sites. 

Upon investigations, the film's creators found no illicit content, and with the assistance of the police, they discovered that the reported version originated from pirated sources.

Video excerpts obtained by the Beijing News showed that gambling site information was inserted in the form of advertisements within the movie. Different pirated versions featured distinct content, each lasting about 15-16 seconds, some even displaying countdown timers and "exclusive sponsorship" labels at the bottom of the screen. 

"This has misled the audience, leading them to believe that the gambling websites are part of the movie, creating the misconception that the film is sponsored by these gambling sites," a key personnel associated with the film, told the Beijing News.

One key personnel who had previously shared contact information publicly, reported harassment and threats from unidentified individuals. The harassers claimed to be in Myanmar, warning of dire consequences if the film was not taken offline immediately. Additionally, they turned film crew members' photos into explicit images for extortion purposes.

The film's creators have reported these incidents to the police on November 20 and are currently awaiting the results of the police's investigations, according to the report.

Global Times