Cyber criminals have been sending scam emails claiming to be from the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and promoting crypto assets investments, financial market-focused platform FT Adviser reported on July 22.
The letter impersonating the FCA is entitled "Guaranteed chance to earn" and features the watchdog’s logo and branding. After reading that "Bitcoin is still a long way off its peak price of $20,000, which it reached in 2017, but some cryptocurrency experts believe it could hit an even higher value by 2020," it offers recipients to follow a link labelled "Click her."
The FCA has reportedly confirmed that it has no relation with the aforementioned emails. The agency also warned that it would never ask the public to provide it with their bank account details. The FCA said:
"The correspondence is likely to be linked to organized fraud and we strongly advise you not to respond to the criminals in any way. Look for signs that the email, letter or phone call may not be from us, such as it listing a mobile or overseas contact phone number, an email address from a hotmail or gmail account, or a foreign PO Box number.”
FCA asks the public to remain cautious
In May, the FCA reported that cryptocurrency investors in the U.K. lost over $34 million due to cryptocurrency and forex scams from 2018–2019. At the time, the FCA considered a ban on “high-risk derivative products linked to cryptoassets,” with the watchdog’s executive director Mark Steward saying:
“Scammers can be very convincing so always do your own research into any firm you are considering investing with, to make sure that they are the real deal.”
Recently, the FCA announced that it will soon publish a consultation paper on a potential ban on cryptocurrency derivatives such as Bitcoin futures and other crypto-related trading products.