The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued a warning to the public that its logo and identity have been subject of illegal use by fraudulent entities, without any prior authorization from the authority itself, per a recent ESMA statement.
The practice is extremely common amongst unregulated foreign exchange (FX) brokers and binary options providers, each of which are prone to claiming illicit regulatory status or credentials, whether by falsified addresses, regulation membership, or by assuming the identify or a regulator or registered broker itself (clone).
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In this particular instance, the ESMA’s logo and identity has frequently been utilized in communications and transcripts targeting employees or individuals to solicit money via transfers. The ESMA retains no involvement in such practices and warns individuals to avoid all contact with such fraudulent entities that are wrongly claiming connection to the ESMA.
Furthermore, the ESMA’s credentials are not the only things being targeted – the group has also warned that several attempts to impersonate a senior official of the ESMA’s staff was made in order to target savings banks and listed issuers. The ESMA denies all involvement and individuals are urged to follow a set of basic steps to ascertain whether communications or transcripts have originated from the ESMA itself or are falsified.
This includes checking whether a received email is in fact real, and if not, to inform both the ESMA, local law enforcement, and senior company officials at a respective firm. In addition, the ESMA is based out of Paris, with no affiliates or branches in other locales – any claims to the contrary should be treated as a scam. Finally, all emails mandated or sent by ESMA end with the address @esma.europa.eu.