Italy’s financial market watchdog, Consob, has blocklisted four more websites for operating illegally in the country. The number of fraudulent blocklisted platforms reduced to 805 is the ongoing effort by authorities to reduce illegal activity within this industry.
The Italian regulators added four sites that offer high-risk financial instruments such as forex and contracts for differences (CFDs) to retail traders. These include Ethereal Group, Cyprus, Alltradingeu FinanceCapitalFX, and MFCapital FX.
Unfortunately, scams and fraud related to online investment platforms are quite common. For example, UK Finance’s data shows that British people lost more than £1.3 billion to these scams last year. In Australia, the scamming numbers are similarly high- in just the first five months of this year, Australians have collectively lost AU$ 158 million dollars to investment scams.
Vulnerable retail traders are the main target for fraudulent platforms, which often offer high leverage and other incentives. Though these platform users are OK with depositing their money, they have difficulty withdrawing it later. Also, it’s hard for regulators to detect such fraud before customers file complaints.
Italian lawmakers granted Consob the power to block access to these fraudulent websites through internet service providers within Italy in July 2019. Consequently, Consob has been ensuring the ban on access to these platforms.
Consob warns investors to be more diligent when making investment choices and not become fraud victims.
Always double-check that the financial services website you’re using is authorized, and for offers of products, check that a published prospectus.” they added.