As the whole world is battling the COVID-19 pandemic, bad actors are also trying to make fortune out of it. It was recently reported that online scammers were impersonating the World Health Organization (WHO), claiming that they were soliciting for crypto donations to battle the pandemic.
Global governments and regulatory bodies have been warning the general public about these opportunistic scammers. After the U.K. police had warned the public about coronavirus bitcoin scammers, the nation’s Financial Conduct Authority also issued a warning that COVID-19 scammers are trying to mislead people into giving them money, including fake crypto investments.
The recent among such warnings has come from the United States derivatives market regulator. According to a statementreleased by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the agency has received several fraud complains involving online digital assets or forex-related fraudulent schemes. The agency said those fraudsters promise to deliver fast and huge profits to users amid the intensifying COVID-19 crisis.
The CFTC noted that fraudsters commonly use major news events like the current COVID-19 pandemic, to add credibility to their scam schemes. The agency further highlighted that COVID-19 scammers don’t just stop at defrauding people into investing in fake investment schemes. It claims these fraudsters also request for unnecessary fees and tax payments when the traders try to cash out.
Beside warning investors about these opportunistic scammers, the CFTC also granted temporary no-action release to a number of businesses. According to another statement, market participants like futures commission merchants, and brokers are temporarily exempted from certain CFTC regulations. This is because, those exempted regulations are difficult to achieve due to COVID-19 interventions such as social distancing and closures.
The CFTC had earlier this month issued a warning statement, urging investors to beware of scammers trying to benefit from the recent increased market volatility. The agency urged the public to make sure that those crypto and forex trading platforms are registered with the CFTC before sending their Bitcoin or credit card info to them.