Italy's financial market watchdog, Consob, blacklisted four more financial services websites for operating illegally in the country. The latest addition has reduced the number of fraudulent blocklisted platforms to 805.

According to the press release on Friday, the latest names added to the blocklist are Ethereal Group, Alltradingeu, FinanceCapitalFX Cyprus and MFCapitalFX. None of these platforms are locally regulated in Italy or by any other regulator in the European Union.

Like most other blocklisted websites, all four platforms offer high-risk financial instruments. These include forex and contracts for differences (CFDs) instruments of different asset classes. Some of them are even offering cryptocurrency CFDs to retail traders.

Rampant Scams

Fraudulent online investment platforms are rampant across markets. Data from the industry trade body, UK Finance, show that Britons lost more than £1.3 billion to online fraud and scams last year. Australians also lost AU$158 million to investment scams in the first five months of the current year.

Fraudulent platforms mainly target vulnerable retail traders, offering incentives and high leverage. Though traders usually do not face any problems depositing their money on these shady platforms, the troubles come at the time of withdrawals.

In addition, it is challenging for regulators to detect such fraudulent platforms proactively. They usually surface after customer complaints.

Moreover, Consob imposes its authority to block access to these fraudulent websites through internet service providers. It will ensure the ban on access to these platforms within Italy. These powers were granted to the regulator by Italian lawmakers in July 2019.

"Consob draws investors' attention to the importance of adopting the greatest diligence in order to make informed investment choices, adopting common sense behaviors, essential to safeguard their savings: these include, for websites that offer financial services, checking in advance that the operator with whom they are investing is authorized, and, for offers of financial products, that a prospectus has been published," the official announcement added.

Italy's financial market watchdog, Consob, blacklisted four more financial services websites for operating illegally in the country. The latest addition has reduced the number of fraudulent blocklisted platforms to 805.

According to the press release on Friday, the latest names added to the blocklist are Ethereal Group, Alltradingeu, FinanceCapitalFX Cyprus and MFCapitalFX. None of these platforms are locally regulated in Italy or by any other regulator in the European Union.

Like most other blocklisted websites, all four platforms offer high-risk financial instruments. These include forex and contracts for differences (CFDs) instruments of different asset classes. Some of them are even offering cryptocurrency CFDs to retail traders.

Rampant Scams

Fraudulent online investment platforms are rampant across markets. Data from the industry trade body, UK Finance, show that Britons lost more than £1.3 billion to online fraud and scams last year. Australians also lost AU$158 million to investment scams in the first five months of the current year.

Fraudulent platforms mainly target vulnerable retail traders, offering incentives and high leverage. Though traders usually do not face any problems depositing their money on these shady platforms, the troubles come at the time of withdrawals.

In addition, it is challenging for regulators to detect such fraudulent platforms proactively. They usually surface after customer complaints.

Moreover, Consob imposes its authority to block access to these fraudulent websites through internet service providers. It will ensure the ban on access to these platforms within Italy. These powers were granted to the regulator by Italian lawmakers in July 2019.

"Consob draws investors' attention to the importance of adopting the greatest diligence in order to make informed investment choices, adopting common sense behaviors, essential to safeguard their savings: these include, for websites that offer financial services, checking in advance that the operator with whom they are investing is authorized, and, for offers of financial products, that a prospectus has been published," the official announcement added.