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Scammers impersonating CySEC officers — public urged to be vigilant

Cysec

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) on Thursday issued a fresh warning over scammers impersonating CySEC employees, as well as websites pretending to be that of the commission, in order to extract sensitive information from potential victims.

CySEC’s warning notice includes important information on how to spot scams and fake email addresses and domain names currently in use by fraudsters.

Following the detection of additional cases, CySEC said that it wishes to remind the public that it never makes contact by telephone or sends unsolicited correspondence, nor does it request personal data, financial or otherwise.

“Investors are strongly advised to contact CySEC to confirm the authenticity of communications by contacting [email protected] before taking any action,” the commission stated.

“Among the newest clones of the CySEC website are sophisticated duplicates (cysec-regulatory.com and www.cysecgov.com) that include the CySEC logo, announcements, images and email addresses”, CySEC has warned.

Another scam website (Cysecs.group) contains a link to a fake list of approved Cyprus Investment Firms and contains several links to unauthorised or scam brokers.

Genuine emails from CySEC include addresses ending in gov.cy. However, it should be noted there have been cases where fraudsters have also cloned these as well.

CySEC further explained that scammers have been contacting clients of CySEC-regulated entities by email or telephone, or via WhatsApp and other social media, and include the name, address, official stamp and logo of CySEC in communications to make them appear genuine.

“These scammers usually make false offers to assist investors with compensation claims. Through these contacts, they will illegally obtain personal information such as proof of identity and investment or ownership papers that allow them to withdraw funds on behalf of the customer,” the commission said.

What is more, CySEC said that it discovered the latest attempted frauds through its use of monitoring tools that scan and assess tens of thousands of social media posts in real-time, flagging those that are suspicious or include suspected aggressive marketing tactics. A number of investors have also contacted CySEC to report fake communications.

“Scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and it can be hard to distinguish fake communications from the real thing,” a CySEC spokesperson said.

“Some of the more recent fake websites and emails we have seen look very convincing, and in some cases, fraudsters have searched the names of genuine CySEC officers and are using their names and titles in fake emails,” they added.

The spokesperson continued by stating that “the fact that the website of the firm displays the CySEC logo or mentions that they are contacting them from CySEC does not necessarily mean that they are”.

They added that “it is crucial that investors always access CySEC’s website directly, rather than through a link that might appear in the communications, and check CySEC’s approved domains list to make sure they are not a cloned company or that money is being transferred to an unauthorised domain”.

“If anyone has concerns about a potential scam, they should contact CySEC directly to inform us,” they concluded.

Previous warnings regarding unregulated entities and the impersonation of CySEC representatives have been issued, and can be viewed here: Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission | CYSEC WARNINGS

CySEC’s investor guide on how to spot scams can be found here: Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission | CYSEC GUIDE: HOW TO AVOID SCAMS

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