Business

Dan Taylor

Belgium adds 7 new ‘suspicious’ sites to crypto scam watchlist

Belgium’s financial markets regulator has updated its list of alleged crypto scam sites, adding a further seven sites to its watchlist in a bid to prevent more consumers falling foul of fraudulent operators.

The Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) has been keeping a close eye on crypto scams in recent months, following a deluge of complaints from individual investors caught out by those purporting to operate legitimate cryptocurrency businesses.

Their list now stands at 120 companies to avoid, with the regulator taking steps to publicize its recommendations to steer clear of those operators.

The latest seven to be added to the list are www.bearsmarkets.com, www.btckingdom.com, www.directco-invest.com, www.maisonducoins.net, www.novoplacement.com, www.ripae-homine.com and www.tribelylimited.com.

Unfortunately, the list of 120 scam crypto firms is non-exhaustive, with regulators around the world maintaining their own lists of suspected fraudulent operators in the crypto space.

In a statement published on their website, the regulator said investors should still remain vigilant when considering any crypto investment.

“The principle remains the same: they offer you an investment they claim is secure, easy and very lucrative. They try to inspire confidence by assuring you that you don’t need to be an expert in cryptocurrencies in order to invest in them,” according to the FSMA. “They claim to have specialists who will manage your investments for you. You are told that your funds can be withdrawn at any time or that they are guaranteed. In the end, the result is always the same: the victims find themselves unable to recover their money!”

While its warnings are stark and uncompromising, the regulator took steps to clarify these were only the firms they knew for sure were operating illegitimately, following complaints from investors. Other scam operators are likely still undetected, soliciting for business in Belgium and beyond.

The move is the latest step by a financial regulator to protect unsuspecting investors from malpractice in the cryptocurrency space.

It further strengthens calls for stricter regulation around cryptocurrency businesses, with regulators and lawmakers worldwide considering their own approaches to preventing similar crypto scams taking hold in future.

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