As a result of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission’s (CySEC) supervision programme, there is evidence of fraudulent representation of CySEC officers engaging with investment services providers and their (prospective) clients.
It has come to our repeated attention 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 conduct of business with a number of firms under CySEC’s supervision.
CySEC would like to remind the public that it never sends unsolicited correspondence to investors or members of the public, nor does 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 anyone to do so on its behalf.
CySEC does not authorise, verify, monitor, or in any way involved in class actions, compensation schemes, payments between natural or legal entities or any public or private agencies.
What do these scams look like?
Such cases occur often and may be part of a sophisticated online campaign that seeks to defraud investors. Typically, such scams may have the following characteristics:
- Individuals claim to be CySEC officers, appointed representatives of CySEC (e.g. legal advisors), other Cypriot supervisory authorities (e.g. Central Bank of Cyprus) and/or bank representatives appointed by CySEC.
- These scammers contact investors that are clients of regulated entities under CySEC’s supervision, often via email.
- These emails appear genuine when they are not – they carry the name, address, official stamp and logo of CySEC and fraudulently copy CySEC officials’ signature.
- The fraudsters then make false promises 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).
- Through this engagement, the fraudsters illegally obtain personal information including telephone records.
- In some cases, investors are then called via telephone in relation to email correspondence.
CySEC has sent multiple public information warnings via its website at https://www.cysec.gov.cy/en-GB/public-info/warnings/cysec/
Example impersonation: what you should watch out for
A recent case involved correspondence in which an individual using the name Richard Moore attempts to convince recipients to pay legal fees to participate in fake aid programs for recovery of losses they might have suffered. In said correspondence, there is also unauthorized use of the CySEC logo. This individual uses the electronic address richar[email protected].
What you should do if you are unsure about unsolicited correspondence
- Do stay alert: CySEC urges the public to remain vigilant regarding any unsolicited communication from CySEC. If you are confused why the regulator is contacting you, that is because we are likely not.
- Don’t provide personal information: CySEC will never ask you for money or personal financial information. Refrain from giving money to anyone who claims any or all of the above, or similar.
- Do seek confirmation: if you are unsure about the authenticity of any communications, contact CySEC via [email protected] before taking any decision/action.