The Financial Markets Authority (FMA), a financial regulator in New Zealand, has added two firms to its warning list today. The companies in question are the foreign exchange (forex) broker CF Group and cryptocurrency exchange bitalong.
CF Group has come up on the watchdog’s radar because it is claiming to be associated with CF Group Limited, a registered financial service provider in New Zealand. However, the FMA warns this is not true and the two entities are not related.
On its website, the company claims: “CF GROUP specializes in providing diversified trading services for online forex, precious metals, stock indices and crude and offers a full range of financial investment education & investment consulting services.”
Specifically, on CF Group’s website (www.forexcf.com), the alleged broker claims to be registered both by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the FMA. For New Zealand, it claims its license number is License No.: 507506.
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This is pretty typical for clone firms, which often use names similar to that of legitimate and authorized firms to trick investors into thinking they are that company and will, therefore, part with their money.
Because of this, it can be expected that the authorization details it has provided for other financial regulators are also fake. The clone firm also has an app on the Google Play Store. As a result, the FMA warns that investors should give this company and its app a wide berth and avoid it altogether.
FMA Flags Crypto Exchange Bitalong
The FMA has also blacklisted bitalong (www.bitalong.com), a cryptocurrency exchange. Similar to CF Group, the company is claiming to be associated with FMA-registered Jazz Finance Limited.
However, the regulator has warned that this is not true. A company pretending to be associated with another entity is pretty suspicious behavior because if they were legitimate why would they lie? Because of this, the regulator urges consumers to not interact or deal with this company.