It’s a fine Monday morning, and across the plains of the Italian peninsula, the descendants of the Great Roman empire are awakening to find that their financial regulator, Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB), has added several new firms to its warning list of probable scams.
The three firms listed by the Italian regulator provide three of the products best loved by scammers across the world – from St Vincent and the Grenadines to the Marshall Islands and from Ukraine to Vanuatu. I am talking, of course, about foreign exchange (FX), cryptocurrency and binary options.
The firm providing the latter products, TorOption, appears to have already been taken down. Given binary options firms past behavior, it’s pretty unlikely that the firm wasn’t just conning people out of their cash. As the company’s site is down, however, it is difficult to determine what exactly they were selling and from where they were pretending to be.
Next, we have FX ‘brokerage’ FXBreeze. Unlike many of its unregulated brethren, this firm doesn’t even bother to list a phony address or fake phone number. Again, that makes figuring out where the company is located difficult but, if past experience is anything to go by, it’s probably in some Kiev basement or Serbian suburb.
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CONSOB destroys the scammers
The firm claims that it offers FX services, but I can almost guarantee that, if you ever deposit any money with the firm, you will never see one penny, cent or agorah of it ever again. As one user on Trust Pilot put it:
“Scam! Never approve a withdrawal request. Ruin your account by opening high risk positions. They add credit that you have not approved the terms and conditions to and then hold you hostage because of that. Criminals according to me.”
Last, but certainly not least, we have the cryptocurrency firm Togacoin. Anyone that’s ever seen a statue of that guy Julius Caesar, or any of those other emperors that led the Roman empire, will know that Italians, at least when they enjoyed conquering much of the known world, love to wear togas.
But to this set of Boudican eyes, Togacoin looks like total garbage. A useless whitepaper, no information as to who owns the company and a set of reviews that suggest anyone who sank money into the company’s coffers never saw it again would suggest that behind this toga lies, not the pristine body of a legitimate cryptocurrency company, but a group of scammers.
So if anyone from Togacoin comes a’ knockin’ on your door or a buzzin’ on your phone line remember to tell them, te futueo et caballum tuum – es scortum obscenus vilis.