Fraud is becoming a big issue in the digital currency world. This reality was on full display on May 24 when the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a warning that a firm was impersonating the regulated company ICAP Europe Limited.
The main regulator for financial matters in the U.K. warned that a group calling themselves ICAP Crypto is a clone firm that has developed a kind of scam to try to convince potential victims that they are a legitimate firm.
ICAP Crypto got on the radar of the FCA through the information they were providing to consumers. While they did not claim to be regulated by the U.K. regulatory agency, they have been using company details from ICAP Europe, claiming them as their own.
According to the release, the FCA has found several organizations who have cloned the information for ICAP Europe in particular, looking to target consumers by getting them to commit their assets to the crypto scheme.
These types of schemes date back to at least August 2018. On August 8, 2018, the FCA warned of a cloning company looking to impersonate Fair Oaks Capital Limited. The cloning entity, Fair Oaks Crypto made it clear that they were not registered with the FCA but used all of Fair Oaks Capital’s other relevant information.
Two days later, the FCA was back with a release that Good Crypto was using the information for Arup Corporation. The regulatory agency warned consumers that the group was telling consumers that they offered digital currencies, such as Bitcoin Cash (BCHABC), ETH, Bitcoin Core (BTC) and others, when that was not the case at all.
This is becoming a growing concern for the regulatory agency. It was reported that these scams resulted in $34 million during 2018 and the first part of 2019. This nearly led the FCA to ban all “high-risk” derivative products that were directly linked to crypto assets.
For consumers, they must be careful to make sure that the company they are dealing with is truly the real deal. ICAP Europe was quick to disavow any affiliation with the imposter, as most of these financial institutions have done. However, that does not mean that all are paying enough attention to know that they may be dealing with a fraud.
The FCA is planning to create an increased level of oversight for the leading cryptocurrency markets across Europe. They have already asked many of the leading agencies across the continent to assist them in regulating these transactions. No date has been set for when these regulations may arrive or if entities have assisted the FCA with the information the regulatory agency sought.
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