Belgium’s chief financial regulator, the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA), has issued warnings about the spread of illegitimate crypto and blockchain platforms, adding 28 new websites to its blacklist on September 4, 2018.
A Sea of Scammer Crypto Platforms
As fraudulent cryptocurrency trading platforms continue to present problems for Belgian investors, the country’s financial regulator has issued several warnings about the potential danger these scammer websites pose.
However, despite all of the warnings the FSMA had issued in 2018, complaints about fraudulent offerings related to investing in cryptocurrencies didn’t seem to stop.
The latest warning was issued on September 4 on the regulator’s official website. Warning about the risk associated with unregulated cryptocurrency investments, FSMA updated its list of fraudulent cryptocurrency trading platforms, adding 28 names to the list.
Some of the latest additions to the list, which had around 50 websites listed before the update, are CryptoWallet24, ExecutiveCrypto, CryptoFrance Capital, Crown Managers, and MinedCrypto.
Apart from posing as legitimate exchanges where users can buy bitcoin, ether, or other cryptocurrencies, some of the fraudulent websites have also been abusing the names of well-known and credible financial services companies. A notable example is a newly blacklisted website misusing the name of the London Stock Exchange.
Belgium’s Neighbors Follow Suit
According to its official website, FSMA has been updating its list of known scammers since the end of February 2018 and has followed every update with an official warning. Less than a month after Belgium, France also started compiling its own “blacklist” of fraudulent crypto websites.
An FSMA report from February 2018 explained that most of these websites go by the same set of rules. They either claim they’re the best trading platform or enable both beginners and professionals to trade in cryptocurrencies in a matter of seconds.
Some of these platforms also offer other financial products along with cryptocurrencies, such as savings accounts with supposedly guaranteed returns, servicing rights, or derivative products such as CFDs.
However, the increase in the number of fraudulent websites seems to bring about an increase in the variety of scams they pull off.
France’s stock market regulator, AMF, published a warning in June 2018 about scammers impersonating an AMF employee. The report said an individual presenting himself as Stéphane Delaplace who claims to be working at the AMF was investigating a trading platform operating via www.union-crypto.com/.
AMF issued a statement saying it has no employees that go by the name of Stéphane Delaplace, and that the trading platform in question was not authorized to provide services to French residents.