Home Cryptocurrency FSMA Warns Against CoinDesk Clone and 30 Other Websites

FSMA Warns Against CoinDesk Clone and 30 Other Websites


The Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA), Belgium’s financial market regulatory watchdog, flagged 30 online trading platforms offering unlicensed services in the country. A clone of CoinDesk, a popular crypto news website owned by venture capital firm Digital Currency Group (DCG), is one of them.

Potential fraudsters’ names and website addresses present a broad mix of contracts for difference (CFDs), wealth management and cryptocurrency trading services. Some of these platforms are ApexCryptoLive, Bitnexltd, FortuneFX, Spotchains, Vexxsel and a clone website of CoinDesk dubbed Coinsdesk (coinsdesk.org). At the time of writing, the website is no longer available.

The complete list, which was prepared after the Belgian regulator received complaints from consumers, is available on the regulator’s website.

Fraudsters Use Aggressive Tactics

According to the most recent FSMA press release, the listed platforms act “very aggressively” to obtain new clients and persuade the victims to grant remote access to their personal computers. Popular tactics also include encouraging people to deposit growing sums of money after unsuccessful investments and providing the option to withdraw funds after making one more final deposit.

Users who have been scammed in this manner often complain about the inability to get their money back and the lack of contact with the fraudsters after they invested their money. The FSMA warns that, in most cases, these are blatant examples of investment crime.

“Fraudsters not only act without the necessary authorizations, but they also divert the invested funds. In such cases, investors are unable to recover their funds because these illegal service providers are generally located abroad,” Belgium’s FSMA commented.

The newest list was published two months after the Belgian market watchdog flagged 30 other online trading platforms for their fraudulent activities.

According to the most recent report by the FSMA on financial fraud published in October 2021, the number of investment scams in the first half of last year jumped by 60% compared to the same period a year earlier.

The Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA), Belgium’s financial market regulatory watchdog, flagged 30 online trading platforms offering unlicensed services in the country. A clone of CoinDesk, a popular crypto news website owned by venture capital firm Digital Currency Group (DCG), is one of them.

Potential fraudsters’ names and website addresses present a broad mix of contracts for difference (CFDs), wealth management and cryptocurrency trading services. Some of these platforms are ApexCryptoLive, Bitnexltd, FortuneFX, Spotchains, Vexxsel and a clone website of CoinDesk dubbed Coinsdesk (coinsdesk.org). At the time of writing, the website is no longer available.

The complete list, which was prepared after the Belgian regulator received complaints from consumers, is available on the regulator’s website.

Fraudsters Use Aggressive Tactics

According to the most recent FSMA press release, the listed platforms act “very aggressively” to obtain new clients and persuade the victims to grant remote access to their personal computers. Popular tactics also include encouraging people to deposit growing sums of money after unsuccessful investments and providing the option to withdraw funds after making one more final deposit.

Users who have been scammed in this manner often complain about the inability to get their money back and the lack of contact with the fraudsters after they invested their money. The FSMA warns that, in most cases, these are blatant examples of investment crime.

“Fraudsters not only act without the necessary authorizations, but they also divert the invested funds. In such cases, investors are unable to recover their funds because these illegal service providers are generally located abroad,” Belgium’s FSMA commented.

The newest list was published two months after the Belgian market watchdog flagged 30 other online trading platforms for their fraudulent activities.

According to the most recent report by the FSMA on financial fraud published in October 2021, the number of investment scams in the first half of last year jumped by 60% compared to the same period a year earlier.



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