Fake emails purporting to be from Germany’s top financial regulator have been sent to thousands of potential market participants around the world, said the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bafin).
The mass email scam appears to be circulating on behalf of the Bafin Vice President Elisabeth Roegele, it looks like a due diligence request from the regulator and demands receivers to make payments.
Typically, the fraudsters use special software to make the message appear genuine. Recipients are often invited to click on a link that appears to take them to the watchdog’s website. Instead, they go to a false website that tries to steal sensitive information from those targeted, which can be used later without their knowledge to commit fraud.
In a notification on its website, the BaFin recommends that recipients delete the scam emails without opening them. The BaFin has provided details on how to identify spoof emails in a dedicated section on its website.
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The watchdog also pointed to its guidance on fake emails, websites, letters and phone calls on its website. The regulator said anyone in doubt about the authenticity of contact or receives such correspondences should contact the police.
“The Bafin points out that the authority does not ask people by phone or e-mail to transfer large sums of money to certain accounts. The Federal Agency does not turn to individual people to advise them on specific banking, financial services or insurance transactions,” it added.
The financial supervisory authority sounded similar warning bells last month over scammers targeting Germans by sending a fake email purporting to be from Bafin President Felix Hufeld, as well as Bafin press spokeswoman Sabine Reimer.
In an attempt to keep up with the rise of the digital payment market, including the number of platforms and users, BaFin has been adamant in its warnings toward investors, elaborating on the potential risks associated with the booming industry.
However, German regulators came under fire for failing to investigate one of the country’s worst ever accounting scandals surrounding the payment company Wirecard.