More Digital Currency Scams Targeting Pacific Communities
Due to the rising number of reports on investment scams related to digital currency focusing Pacific communities, the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and Commerce Commission in New Zealand have launched an awareness campaign.
“We saw the OneCoin pyramid scheme proliferate through Pacific social and community groups. Last year the FMA also reiterated its warning that Skyway Group (or SWIG) may be involved in a scam and was targeting Pacific groups. Investment scams fall under the remit of the FMA, while pyramid schemes are prohibited by the Fair Trading Act, which is enforced by the Commerce Commission.”
The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) reported a steady rise in complaints about various scams since the beginning of March. The most reported was a cryptocurrency campaign on social media that used fake news articles and false celebrity endorsements for the promotion of Bitcoin investments.
In recent times, several authorities worldwide have reported a rise in scams related to digital currency. COVID-19 pandemic which led to lockdowns and stay-at-home orders kept people indoors, thereby giving scammers the opportunity and time to swindle unwary people.
The FMA noted that the most renowned scams happen on social media, and scammers use fake news articles and celebrity endorsements to influence people into fraudulent digital currency investment opportunities. In recent times, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has charged three people for carrying out similar scam in the U.S. and Israel.
The two government agencies (FMA and Commerce Commission) help with the enforcement of legislation that facilitates competition in New Zealand’s markets and forbids misleading and deceptive conduct by traders. Hence, they are fighting these scams via an awareness campaign on web pages and through radio advertisements. They are ensuring that the awareness campaign gets to the Pacific regions of their country.
The FMA advised everyone in its press release without regards to where they are located: do your research about investments before you put your money into them.