News of one fraud after another is rattling the cryptocurrency markets. Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) has repeatedly issued warnings against cryptocurrency fraud, asking citizens to be careful. However, the number of complaints that the agency has received against crypto swindlers is on the rise. In the wake of this situation, the FSMA has issued a fresh alert against these entities. It also added 28 new websites to its crypto fraud blacklist.
Scammers Use Crypto Hype to Dupe People
Cryptocurrencies gained unprecedented hype after the price of Bitcoin reached $20,000. The run-up to this all-time high in the last quarter of 2017 made the mainstream interested in crypto investments. Several retail investors flocked into the crypto markets, only to bleed later. The price of Bitcoin has fallen to $7,000. However, this hasn’t deterred enthusiastic investors from dabbling into the crypto world.
The FSMA states that fraudsters are using the hype around digital assets to float fake cryptocurrencies and attract customers online. They lure people promising huge profits, as was witnessed in the case of Bitcoin last year. But according to the FSMA:
“The only thing they actually do, however, is take the customers’ money and disappear. It is as simple as that.”
Is the Blacklist Complete?
The FSMA suggests that the list is not comprehensive and is merely based on reports by victims of crypto fraud. Thus, it asks people to come up with information about crypto entities that are illegally operating in the nation. The agency urges concerned individuals to refer to its February 2018 warning, which provides striking details of a victim’s experience with crypto swindlers.
In Belgium, authorities are strictly against crypto trading. In February this year, tax authorities opened several investigations against Belgian citizens who traded digital assets on foreign exchanges. As it is not a regulated form of trading in the country, crypto traders are expected to pay a 33% tax on their gains.
The EU is making progress in creating stable cryptocurrency laws that regulate the industry further. However, for now, users can only depend on due diligence to protect themselves from fraud.