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The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) warns: Scammers are impersonating CySEC representatives

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A number of market participants have informed the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) about cases of persons fraudulently impersonating representatives of CySEC. It has been brought to CySEC’s attention on repeated occasions that individuals claiming to be CySEC officers or appointed representatives are soliciting investors for fees in exchange for settlement of bogus compensation claims related to the conduct of business with a number of firms under CySEC’s supervision.

CySEC therefore advises that it will never send unsolicited correspondence to investors or members of the public, nor will it ever request any personal data, financial or otherwise.

CySEC has no authority or jurisdiction to collect fees for any purpose from individual investors, nor does it have authority to appoint a third party to do so on its behalf. It does not authorize, verify, monitor, nor is it in any way involved in class actions, compensation schemes, payments between natural or legal entities or any public or private agencies.

Investors are being conned by such scams on a daily basis as part of sophisticated online campaigns. Typical examples of such scams are:

  • Individuals impersonating CySEC employees or appointed representatives of CySEC (e.g. legal advisors) or representatives of other supervisory authorities in Cyprus (e.g. The Central Bank of Cyprus) and or representatives of banks appointed by CySEC.
  • Investors who are clients of legal entities supervised by CySEC are often contacted by scammers by e-mail
  • Such e-mails appear to be genuine – CySEC’s designation, address, official stamp and logo are used, and the signatures of officials are copied and used in a fraudulent manner.
  • The fraudsters make false promises, that they wish to assist investors in obtaining compensation in relation to business previously conducted with supervised entities (typically with online trading firms offering speculative investment products).
  • By doing so the fraudsters illegally obtain personal information including recordings of telephone calls
  • In some cases, investors are then called by telephone in relation to e-mail correspondence

CySEC has already published several public information warnings on its website.

An example of a scammer impersonating a CySEC employee: what you should look out for

Recently a case has been brought to CySEC’s attention, in which an individual using the name Christos Sofroniou attempted to convince the addressees of a letter to pay legal fees in order to participate is fake aid programs to obtain compensation for losses that they might have suffered. The CySEC logo was also used in an unauthorised manners in this letter. This individual uses the e-mail address [email protected] as well as the telephone number +35725654263, +35799711917.

CySEC urges the public to remain vigilant regarding any unsolicited communication purporting to be from CySEC, as well as not to pay money to anyone claiming to be from CySEC. It is therefore explicitly recommended that investors should contact CySEC by e-mail at [email protected], to allowed the authenticity of the letter to be confirmed, before they take a decision in relation to the letter or act upon it.

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