The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) released an official warning to UK residents as there is a crypto scam, ICAP Crypto, claiming to be a regulated company which is also asking for money in exchange for fake investments.
The crypto scam is called ICAP Crypto, which has a very similar name to the ICAP company, which is regulated by the FCA. ICAP is not associated in any way with ICAP Crypto, the latter company using the legitimacy of the former to mislead investors.
The investors that fell prey to this scam received false details, with some real information on the firm they posed as, and once they contacted their victims they asked for money. A spokesperson for FCA said:
“This firm (ICAP Crypto) is not authorised or registered by us but has been targeting people in the UK, claiming to be an authorised firm.”
“This is what we call a ‘clone firm’ and fraudsters usually use this tactic when contacting people out of the blue, so you should be especially wary if you have been ‘cold-called’.”
The con artist enticed their victims with unfeasibly high investment returns in crypto and foreign currency exchanges. In order to attract more customers, the scam made use of various social media outlets to promote their scheme.
It has been estimated that UK residents lost more than £27million in 2018/2019 in crypto and forex investment scams, which is triple the number of the previous year.
In response to this, FCA, in collaboration with the City of London Police, launched the ScamSmart campaign which advises those interested in investments to first verify the dedicated website for instructions on how to detect and avoid investment fraud.
“These figures are startling and provide a stark warning that people need to be wary of fake investments on online trading platforms.” – said the Director of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith.
“It’s vital that people carry out the necessary checks to ensure that an investment they’re considering is legitimate.”