Hello and welcome to your daily foreign exchange and cryptocurrency fraud news update.
Alleged gold fraud case sends Thai forex victims to protest
A bizarre social media-fuelled case of alleged gold fraud in Thailand has provoked a group of foreign exchange scam victims to take to the streets in protest at what they claim is a lack of police attention.
The alleged gold Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Wantanee Tippaveth, who is also known as Mae Manee, is said to have led to thousands of people losing over 860m baht – a figure equivalent to almost £22m and around $28.5m.
Mae Manee has now been charged, but according to local press, she has still not been apprehended.
For the forex world, however, the case has had a knock-on effect.
A similar alleged fraud, called Forex 3D, has also caused a large group of alleged victims to come forward and say that they have been scammed.
Those alleged victims came out to a police station in Bangkok to ask police to devote the same amount of time to investigating their case, which they say has not been properly looked into.
According to lawyer Ronnarong Kaewpetch, who stood with the alleged victims outside of the police station, this case could be even worse.
“The Forex case has many times the victims and damages of the Mae Manee case”, he said.
“DSI needs to give this case special status quickly since it was filed way before Mae Manee, and is a very complicated case that involves crimes and banking overseas, which cannot be investigated with normal means.”
Belgian regulator increases number of firms on watch
A regulator in Belgium has told crypto traders to be on their guard after it added an extra nine websites to its list of potential scam sites.
The Financial Services and Markets Authority in the country added the websites to its list of sites to watch after claims that the sites may be involved in some sort of cryptocurrency fraud – or at least be at risk of being so.
It is understood that some traders in the country have already been scammed by the sites.
In a statement, the regulator emphasised that despite its actions both now and in the past, it is not automatically the case that alleged victims will get their money back.
“In the end, the result is always the same: the victims find themselves unable to recover their money!” it said.
The full list of allegedly fraudulent sites was diverse.
It included coinsmex.com, bitcoinmarketscap.com, crypto-sfs.com and bitcointraderspro.com.
Also on the list were etc-markets.co, fisherih.com, ltc-markets.com, stsroyal.com and tdscapitalgroup.com.
Despite the warning, however, there was no sign from the regulator that it would choose to close down the sites in question.
It is understood that the FSMA in Belgium is not permitted to do that – unlike some other European regulators which have the authority to do so and regularly use their power.