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20 Jun 2019, 08:06 am | Regulator or Authority Impersonation

Cyprus SEC Impersonated in a Fraudulent Scam

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) warns the financial services community and members of the public of a scam in which the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and its officers have been impersonated.

The scammers solicit investors for fees in exchange for settlement of fraudulent compensation claims related to the business activities of a number of firms under CySEC’s supervision. A sophisticated online campaign targeting investors is used as part of the scam which typically involves:

• individuals claiming to be CySEC officers, appointed representatives of CySEC (e.g. legal advisors), other Cypriot supervisory authorities (e.g. the Central Bank of Cyprus) and/or bank representatives appointed by CySEC contacting investors that are clients of regulated entities under CySEC’s supervision. Contact is often via emails which appear to be genuine – they carry the name, address, official stamp and logo of CySEC and fraudulently copy CySEC officials’ signature;

• false promises being made to assist investors with compensation for potential damages in connection with dealings they have had with sanctioned firms (typically online trading firms offering speculative investment products);

• soliciting personal information from investors including telephone records; and

• in some cases, calling investors via telephone in relation to email correspondence concerning the fraudulent scam.

The DFSA informs you that, as CySEC has stated in its own warnings and alerts, the CySEC never sends unsolicited correspondence to investors or members of the public, and:

• does not request any personal data, financial or otherwise;

• has no authority or jurisdiction to collect fees for any purpose from individual investors, nor does it have authority to appoint anyone to do so on its behalf; and

• does not authorise, verify, monitor, or is in any way involved in class actions, and compensation.

Example of impersonation: what you should watch out for

A recent case that came to the attention of the CySEC involved correspondence in which an individual using the name “Christos Sofroniou” attempted to convince recipients to pay legal fees to participate in fake aid programs for recovery of losses they might have suffered. As part of the correspondence, the CySEC logo was fraudulently used without authority. The individual used the electronic address [email protected] and the telephone numbers +35725654263, +35799711917.

The DFSA urges the public to remain vigilant regarding any unsolicited communication from anyone falsely claiming to represent the CySEC, and under no circumstances should you send any money to such individuals in connection with any scams. Further, investors are strongly advised to contact CySEC to confirm the authenticity of any unsolicited communication by email at [email protected].

The DFSA has a page on its website dedicated to alerts which it has issued about scams. All alerts issued by the DFSA may be accessed by going to: ALERTS

The DFSA has also issued warnings and guidance about the common types of scams perpetrated on consumers. For more information on these scams, please go to: HOW TO AVOID BEING SCAMMED

The DFSA encourages consumers to refer to the list of regulated Firms and Authorised Individuals licensed by the DFSA that is available on the DFSA's PUBLIC REGISTER

If you have any concerns about the authenticity of any correspondence or documents that purport to be issued by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), DFSA or a DFSA regulated Firm, you should direct your concerns to the DIFC on Tel:+971 4 362 2222 and to the DFSA via the DFSA Complaints function on: COMPLAINTS

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