Business

Ed Drake

Belgium expands list of crypto fraud sites in latest warning to investors

Belgium’s financial markets regulator has expanded its list of fraudulent crypto platforms, in the latest warning over rogue operators in the cryptocurrency sector. The Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) has added an additional 14 sites to its list, which now runs to a total of 113.

In a post on their website, the regulator said that despite its previous, repeated warnings about high levels of fraud among crypto platforms operating in the country, it continues to receive complaints from consumers.

The FSMA noted, “Despite its earlier warnings the FSMA continues to receive new complaints of consumers who have invested in cryptocurrencies through these trading platforms. Hence, the FSMA repeats its warning against the fraudsters behind those platforms who are using cryptocurrencies to swindle consumers.”

The principle of these alleged fraudulent schemes is the same, the regulator warned, explaining: “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. 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 You are told that your funds can be withdrawn at any time or that they are guaranteed.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!”

Among the firms added to the list was AJ Asset Management, a firm with a London office which appears to be marketing primarily to Italian clients, and Direct Placement, which claims to be a market leading cryptocurrency platform in France.

Fraudulent operators of cryptocurrency exchanges and platforms are nothing new, with regulators worldwide increasingly handling complaints from consumers caught out by scams.

Dating back to the early days of Bitcoin Core (BTC), when criminals and fraudsters were amongst some of the more active user demographics, there remain significant challenges for regulators worldwide in eliminating these types of scams.

The warning from the FSMA is only the latest to come from the regulator, urging investors to be wary and extra vigilant around these types of investment propositions.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as SegWitCoin BTC coins. Altcoins, which value privacy, anonymity, and distance from government intervention, are referenced as dark coins.

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