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Screenshot of a breaking news alert e-mail from Q2 2017
Every several months, it seems, Cyprus financial regulator CySEC puts out some version of a warning against impersonators appearing as CySEC officials in an attempt to scam unsuspecting investors.
In the latest iteration, recent instances came to the attention of CySEC which involve correspondence from the US, Canada and the Dominican Republic in which persons with fake names and contact information, and unauthorised use of the CySEC logo, attempt to convince recipients to pay fees to participate in fake aid programs for recovery of losses they might have suffered.
We had reported on previous such warnings on several occasions, most recently in November. In October, CySEC reported that it became aware of an unknown company based in the Caribbean which was presenting itself as various bodies, including CySEC and the US regulator CFTC, for the purpose of conducting illegal transactions. The Caribbean company was contacting clients of various entities to which CySEC or the CFTC has imposed fines, promising to “assist” those investors to be compensated for damages incurred, in exchange for a “legal fee”.
We had also previously reported on similar scams, including one where fraudsters were contacting US clients of now-defunct binary options broker Banc de Binary pretending to be SEC officials, after the broker was hit with an $11 million SEC fine for illegal activity with US traders. The fraudsters tried to convince those clients to pay them a fee to facilitate their settlement payout.
CySEC has issued similar warnings in the past (such as in June 2016 and November 2015), whereby scammers using cysec.info email addresses tried to convince clients of regulated brokers to pay taxes and other fees to bank accounts they had designated.
CySEC urges the public to remain vigilant regarding such unsolicited communication, and in case they receive any that appears to be from CySEC but was not initiated by the recipient of such communication, and appears to ask for the transfer or payment of any amount, to confirm the authenticity of the communication by contacting [email protected] before taking any action.
The latest impersonator warning can be found on CySEC’s website here (pdf).