Belgium’s financial watchdog, the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA), is warning of a new generation of investment scams that are using flashy social media profiles to trick unchecked traders into thinking they can trade online and make thousands in no time.
“In these fake ads, a well-known person often explains how to get rich quick. These methods or projects often form part of the offer of a virtual currency or training course. After clicking on the ad and having given their contact details, the victims are usually swiftly called by fraudsters presenting a concrete investment proposal (in shares, alternative investment products, virtual currencies, etc.),” the FSMA said.
While these bogus profiles advertise get-rich-quick schemes, they do not even have a website and operate solely on social media channels.
However, these traders do not have the necessary accreditation or qualifications to offer these services, though they promise very lucrative and guaranteed returns. All fake promises tend to stop after victims have invested money and got their first round of profits, the FSMA warns.
Additionally, the watchdog has issued a warning against the unauthorized activities of multiple cryptocurrency platforms that are offering investments in the country without complying with Belgian financial legislation.
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The List of Recently Identified Websites Includes:
- Bitcoin Buyer
- Bitcoin Prime (www.bitcoinprime.net)
- Immediate Edge (www.immediate-edge.co)
- BitCapitals (www.bit-capitals.com)
- Brokerunity (www.brokerunity.com)
- Bubblext (www.bubblext.com)
- Cryptenix (www.cryptenix.com)
- FDI Funds (www.fdifunds.com)
- Financial Reserve Capital Management (www.financereserve.com)
- GCG International (www.gcginternational.net)
- GFX Royal (www.gfxroyal.com)
- Global CTB (www.globalctb.com)
- Migotrade (www.migotrade.com)
- Safe IG (www.safeig.com)
The investor alert represents the FSMA’s latest effort to police the rampant internet-based cryptocurrency schemes which operate in a zone that the watchdog regulates.
Based on its investigation, the FSMA said those schemes often include these firms offering investment contracts and requiring their interested investors to deposit their money to a bank account or through other methods, while promising little or no financial risks.
The FSMA said it received numerous complaints about cryptocurrency platforms as many of their clients did not recover the funds they invested, or simply have heard nothing further from the company after investing their money.
To get the protections offered by the securities laws when trading digital assets, investors should use a platform or entity registered with the FSMA, the regulator said.