Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) has updated its blacklist of cryptocurrency-related websites associated with fraudulent activity.
The FSMA made the update following a number of complaints from Belgium-based users who dealt with fraudulent offers of investment in digital currencies, according to a Feb. 21 announcement. After the latest revision, the FSMA’s list now includes a total of 141 websites offering cryptocurrency-related services.
Raising awareness of crypto-related risks
The FSMA further warned that the list is based on customer reports and the agency’s own findings, meaning that it does not include all the crypto-related businesses that might be illegally operating in Belgium.
Previously, the FSMA issued similar warnings to cryptocurrency investors, outlining that they should be wary of companies that claim to hold authorizations from supervisory authorities “This is a very frequently used technique. However, these are often cases of identity theft. Feel free to ask the FSMA to confirm the information you have received,” the agency said then.
In June of last year, Belgian FPS Economy rolled out a website to raise awareness of the risks associated with investments in crypto. At the time, Belgian investors had reported the loss of €2.2 million ($2.5 million) in crypto scams to the FPS in 2018.
The FPS said that this was “just the tip of the iceberg” as only 4% of crypto fraud cases had been reported. Per their estimations, investors in Belgium lose about €130 million ($152 million) to crypto scams each year.
Crypto investor support from authorities worldwide
Authorities of countries around the world provide informational support for cryptocurrency investors in a bid to insure them from potential losses. In January, the State Security Board in the American state of Texas included cryptocurrencies in their list of top threats to investors. A dedicated guide warned:
“Promoters’ claims of ‘secure’ cryptocurrency-related investments and ‘guaranteed’ profits should be approached with caution: Cryptocurrencies tend to be extremely volatile and investors may be unable to quickly liquidate products tied to them.”
Meanwhile, Financial Stability Board Chair Randal Quarles has voiced his concerns regarding how quickly digital currencies are affecting the global economy while regulatory action struggles to keep up.