Belgium’s financial services and markets regulator FSMA, has published a document warning the public of the risks of trading in cryptocurrencies.
“In recent weeks, a large number of new platforms offering all and sundry the chance to invest in cryptocurrencies have appeared on the internet. The FSMA warns the public about these new platforms, since often there are fraudsters behind them who are now using cryptocurrencies to swindle consumers,” the FSMA wrote in the document entitled “Cryptocurrency trading platforms: beware of fraud!”
According to the regulator, the platforms claim to be the best or one of the best trading platforms, which enable both beginners and professionals to trade in cryptocurrencies “with full confidence”. Some of those platforms also offer derivative products such as CFDs.
FSMA, however, has been flooded with complaints from clients who either cannot recover their funds or have not heard anything from the company after investing money with it. “I invested via a platform (XXX) that allegedly holds an authorization. When I asked for my money to be refunded, they promised me it would be done by a given date. However, I have received nothing to date, and they have cut off all access,” one client complained. The FSMA has also published a more detailed testimony of another defrauded client, as well as a list (may be not exhaustive) of the websites it has received complaints about.
These are cases of investment fraud, pure and simple, the FSMA notes and advises clients to exercise utmost prudence, to remain alert to any indication of investment fraud, always check the identity of the company, be wary of promises of unrealistically high returns and demand full and clear information.