New Zealand regulator warns against Profit Bitcoin scam

The New Zealand financial markets regulator has warned the public against a digital currency trading platform that it believes has all the hallmarks of a scam. Known as Profit Bitcoin, the platform allegedly lures its target users with promises of quick riches. The company is not registered by the regulator, which is a requirement for any firm offering financial services in the country.

The Financial Markets Authority issued the warning on April 6, stating that Profit Bitcoin’s website had the hallmarks of a scam. As with any other scam, it relied on using the images of famous personalities to gain some legitimacy, and it went for the most popular personality in the country—the Prime Minister. The FMA claims that Profit Bitcoin has been using the images of PM Jacinda Ardern in its ads on social media platforms. In the ads, it alluded to government initiatives that the Prime Minister was behind that would make digital currencies skyrocket.

On its website, the company had most of the other hallmarks of a scam. First was the promise of quick riches, a trick used to lure unsuspecting targets, many of whom have little experience with digital currencies. The scam claimed that its users made a $13,000 profit daily. Moreover, this incredible profit only took them minutes to generate, the company claimed, saying that most of the processes were automated.

It stated, “Our members work an average of 20 minutes a day or less. Because the software handles the trading, the amount of “work” required is minimal.”

Yet another bold claim was that its platform could make a user a millionaire in 61 days.

“Profit Bitcoin is not registered as a financial service provider in New Zealand and is therefore not permitted to provide financial services/products to New Zealand residents,” the FMA warned the public.

The regulator had earlier on also put a New Zealand Exchange accredited brokerage company on notice regarding its lax anti-money laundering programs. The FMA claimed that Tiger Brokers Limited failed to conduct sufficient customer due diligence, verify identification documents, report suspicious activities and more, all constituting a breach of the laid out AML guidelines. Tiger Brokers will now have to submit a plan to the regulator before April 17 on how it intends to fix the issues.

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