Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) recently updated it’s crypto-associated fraud blacklist and included a total of 113 sites.
The authority mentions that despite fair warnings it continues to get complaints from investors. The platforms mentioned on the site are allegedly run by fraudsters, who use cryptocurrency to fool customers.
The post mentions:
“The principle remains the same: they offer you an investment they claim is secure, easy and very lucrative […] They claim to have specialists who will manage your investments for you. You are told that your funds can be withdrawn at any time […] In the end, the result is always the same: the victims find themselves unable to recover their money!”
The agency explicitly mentions that the list is not comprehensive. It has been curated on the basis of reports by investors. The warning requests the public to come up with doubts and report on possibly suspect crypto-related entities operating in Belgium.
Understanding the nature of Frauds
The FSMA advises readers to consult its prior warnings dated February 22, 2018 and October 26, 2018 to better understand the nature of such frauds.
The reports said,
In order to avoid such cases of fraud, the FSMA invites would-be investors to exercise utmost prudence and advises them to remain alert to any indication of investment fraud. It therefore offers a few recommendations:
- always verify the identity of the company (company identity, home country, etc.).
If a company cannot be clearly identified, it should not be trusted.
Be wary as well of companies that claim to hold authorizations from supervisory authorities and refer you to such authorizations. This is a frequently used technique. However, very often these are cases involving identity theft. The FSMA also wishes to remind consumers that there is currently no supervision of online platforms active in the cryptocurrency sector, and refers in this regard to its warnings dated 14 January 2014 and 16 April 2015.
Previously, the FSMA included a new swathe of 28 apparently fraudulent sites this September. Belgium’s FSMA is trying to protect investors through education. This May, a Chinese government-led study detected 421 fake cryptocurrencies.