Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) has recently warned about fraudulent cryptocurrency trading platforms. The agency also published a list of 19 crypto platforms it “has received questions or complaints from consumers about and has established indications of fraud,” the agency wrote.
They are 01crypto, Btc-cap, Capital-coins, Coinquick, Cryptavenir, Crypto-banque, Crypto-infos, Cryptos.solutions, Cryptos-currency, Ether-invest, Eurocryptopro, Finance-mag, Gme-crypto, Gmtcrypto, Good-crypto, Mycrypto24, Nettocrypto, Patrimoinecrypto, and Ydconsultant.
The agency emphasized that this list does not include all questionable crypto trading platforms – only ones which consumers have filed reports about.
FSMA noted that several new platforms have emerged online, using the same methods to lure investors. “They claim to offer the best (or one of the best) trading platform(s) on which, both beginners and professionals” can trust and trade on instantly, the financial watchdog detailed.
Complaints that FSMA received include customers unable to reclaim their invested money and customers unable to contact the company once they have invested. “I invested via a platform that claimed to have a license,” FSMA quoted one consumer. “When I asked for the refund of my money, I was promised that my money would be refunded on a certain date. However, I have never received anything and now I do not even get access to the platform.”
FSMA’s Warning and Advice
In its warning, FSMA urged investors to be cautious and “remain vigilant for all indications of investment fraud.” The agency recommends for investors to “Always verify the identity of the company (identity details, country of residence, etc.),” as well as to “Never trust a company if it cannot be clearly identified.”
Investors should be wary of companies that claim to have a permit or license by a supervisory authority, FSMA described, adding that currently “no supervision is exercised on online platforms that are active in the cryptocurrency sector.” Furthermore, most of these companies were founded less than a year ago, the agency noted.
Investors should also “demand clear and understandable information” from the companies and “remain critical of that information,” FSMA elaborated:
Many platforms for crypto trade promise a guaranteed return or full capital protection. However, those promises are one big illusion in the crypto-coin sector! If an offer is fraudulent, the promised guarantee is undoubtedly [too].
In conclusion, the agency emphasized that investors should “be wary of (promises of) excessive profits. If a return seems too good to be true, it usually is.”