The exponential increase in the number of foreign exchange and cryptocurrency-related fraud continues to trouble regulators in most jurisdictions, with the U.K Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) being the latest to release a report about the menace.
In a press release published May 21, the FCA in line with the Action Fraud department warned U.K residents to remain wary of the numerous investment scams circulating on fake trading platforms.
The regulators say the warning is essential given that the number of people who fail victim to Forex and crypto-related scams more than tripled in the last year to 1,800.
Within the last financial year, which ended in April, the release quotes findings from the Action Fraud department as revealing that victims lost £27 million ($34.2 million) to fraudsters. That number means that a single victim lost as much as £14,600 to forex and crypto-related investment scams.
In explaining the tactic used by most of the fraudsters, the FCA writes that these crime perpetrators used social media to promote 'get rich quick schemes' and attached a landing page or website that prompted prospects to invest their money. Then, after misleading the investor into believing that they have made a profit from their initial investment, the fraudsters request that the victim throws in another money to receive more gains.
It is often on this second investment that the fraudsters disappear, shutting down the investors' account with no further contact.
The FCA said it would run promotional campaigns on social media to raise awareness regarding the activity of these fraudsters, with the ultimate goal of reducing the number of people that get caught in their net.
Meanwhile, Stmarket.co reported in a similar development that the Spanish National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) blacklisted 23 forex and crypto-related sites used by fraudsters.