A major financial watchdog responsible for regulating forex brokers is today warning that scam artists are posing as its representatives.
The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, also known as CySEC, recently issued the warning and asked customers to remain on their guard against any potentially fake correspondence.
It is believed that individuals posing as representatives of CySEC have been approaching consumers with fabricated stories designed to extract cash.
In one case, correspondence was sent out to investors, supposedly in the name of CySEC, informing people that they’d fallen victim to a scam.
The messages, which included the CySEC logo, were actually false, and they had the ultimate aim of asking consumers to transfer sums of money to cover fictitious charges from lawyers.
Many of the messages are believed to have been received via email. In addition to including the logo, the fictitious messages often also incorporate other major CySEC identifying marks, including the organisation’s name and purported contact information.
The details of the scam can vary from case to case, but CySEC said in a statement that one of the names used in the most recent scam was “Fabien Mayer”.
While the list of targets is not fixed and can vary depending on the scam, it is common for investment customers of financial services firms to form the majority of victims.
“From time to time it comes to the attention of CySEC that unknown entities or individuals present themselves as CySEC representatives, for the purpose of conducting illegal transactions,” said CySEC.
“These entities or individuals contact investors that are clients of various supervised or other firms usually via email and, using the name and logo of CySEC as well as other untruthful contact information, promise to ‘assist’ said investors in receiving compensation for potential damages incurred during their cooperation with the aforementioned firms, in exchange for a legal fee or other expenses.
“CySEC would like to stress that it is not connected in any way with the above mentioned person, and that it never sends unsolicited correspondence to investors or members of the public requesting their personal and/or bank details and/or that they make any sort of financial transaction,” the body added.
This is not the first time that CySEC has had to clarify its position to domestic and international investors in the face of a scam.
There have also been several other incidences in the last three years when the body has had to make statements regarding potential fraudulent activity, including three separate occasions in 2016 and twice in 2017.
Its statements repeatedly stress that it does not ever release uninitiated communications which request personal or financial details from members of the public.
CySEC regulates many aspects of the Cypriot financial sector, including foreign exchange brokers operating in the country. It is also responsible for regulating investment services.
Anyone who has received suspicious correspondence of this nature is advised by CySEC to either get in touch with the police or to speak to CySEC directly by emailing [email protected].