Swipe, Invest, Scam: FSMA Warns against Investment Fraud on Dating Apps
Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) has issued another public warning against the rampant investment fraud carried out using dating apps and websites.
The regulator has received several complaints from victims who were targeted by fraudsters on dating platforms like Tinder, Facebook and others. One of these victims even lost more than EUR 45,000 to these scammers.
As detailed by the Belgian watchdog, fraudsters contacted the victims using fake profiles on the dating platforms. Instead of pushing any monetary scheme, they gradually took prolonged conversations over weeks, steadily asking them to move over to other messaging apps like WhatsApp.
Get Rich Quick Schemes
“The fraudsters flaunt their supposed wealth and share their secret to getting rich quickly and without risk: online trading platforms. They encourage their victims to use one particular platform,” the FSMA stated. None of these platforms are legally operating in Belgium.
The regulator even flagged some of such shady platforms: Forex 7xt+0, Garafi, Insun Forex, MWNG Company Limited and XT.com.
To establish their legitimacy, the scammers often put the victims in touch with a so-called financial expert for consultation on investment strategies.
“Most victims start by investing small amounts. These small investments are always profitable,” the regulator added. They even quickly process the withdrawal requests of this small capital only to dupe the victims for larger amounts.
This is not the first warning of the Belgian regulator against such scams being pulled off using dating platforms. Last year, it flagged growing frauds on Tinder.
Belgium is one of the few modern economies that completely bans retail CFDs trading. However, the fraudsters manipulate potential victims with the excessive profits from these risky instruments.
Earlier this month, the FSMA revealed that the number of complaints around financial frauds in the country jumped by 60 percent in the first half of the year. Meanwhile, it continues to raise an alarm against boiler room scams, illegal trading software and other fraudulent investment platforms.
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