On November 22nd, Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission issued two concerning warnings. One is related to five rogue websites impersonating the official CySEC web page. At the same time, they issued another one, related to fake CySEC agents impersonating actual employees of the said regulator.
This is not the first time we have seen such warnings, and the frequency is quite concerning. CySEC has issued similar alerts since 2017, with the latest one being in April 2022. And it’s not the only authority body forced to do so. We’ve seen such posts by the UK FCA, Canadian FINRA, SFC of Hong Kong, and many more.
What’s the goal of such fraudulent impersonations, and how can it harm investors?
According to the first warning, CySEC has detected new cases of fraudulent impersonation, including five new websites and personas presenting themselves as CySEC officers. The list includes the following pages:
So, what’s the goal of these fake websites? According to Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, there are several scenarios.
First, fake agents can offer to resolve the existing dispute with the CySEC-regulated financial institution in exchange for a certain fee. Whether the dispute is with a brokerage firm, insurance company, or any other financial entity under a CySEC license, you should know that the regulator doesn’t charge fees for the resolution.
The second warning implies that there are people falsely presenting themselves as CySEC officers or appointed representatives of CySEC, such as legal advisors. They contact clients by email or phone, usually having the official logo, signature of the officials, and many more things that make the whole case look credible.
Fake employees offer to assist clients with compensation claims, mainly with online trading brokers offering Forex and CFD investments. Once they get in touch, these impersonators can obtain and later misuse clients’ personal information, including banking details and credit card numbers.
The Luxembourgish financial authority, CSSF, later republished the warning.
It’s of utmost importance to be aware that unsolicited contact is never a good sign. If you’ve not requested a call or someone has gotten in touch with too many details about your case without you submitting an official claim, you should know that something is not right. Regulators don’t keep track of all the investors involved with brokerage firms.
Suppose you’ve explained the situation and fake CySEC employees ask you to pay a fee for the service or offer to speed up the process in exchange for a specific price. Be wary that regulators are not authorized to charge any commissions for their work and have no legal approval to accept any funds to speed up the procedure.
Finally, if you suspect any wrongdoing, you can always contact CySEC using their official email email@example.com to confirm the identity of the person you spoke with.