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British watchdog says cryptocurrency scams on the rise

LONDON (Reuters) – Cryptocurrency scams are utilizing photos of celebrities and upmarket London addresses to hoodwink shoppers into parting with money, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority has mentioned.

FILE PHOTO: Representations of the Ripple, Bitcoin, Etherum and Litecoin digital currencies are seen on a PC motherboard on this illustration image, February 13, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

The warning, first made in June, was reposted on the FCA’s web site on Friday.

Cryptocurrencies similar to bitcoin and ether should not regulated in Britain, and the FCA mentioned it has obtained a rising variety of studies about funding scams that declare to supply excessive returns.

FILE PHOTO: The brand of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is seen on the company’s headquarters within the Canary Wharf business district of London April 1, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

“UK consumers are being increasingly targeted by cryptocurrency-related investment scams,” the FCA mentioned in a press release.

“Cryptocurrency fraudsters tend to advertise on social media, often using the images of celebrities or well-known individuals to promote cryptocurrency investments.”

The advertisements hyperlink to web sites for investments both utilizing cryptocurrencies or conventional money.

“The firms operating the scams are usually based outside of the UK but will claim to have a UK presence, often a prestigious City of London address,” the FCA mentioned.

Given that cryptocurrencies should not regulated, shoppers are unlikely to get their a refund, and should not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, the watchdog mentioned.

Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Andrew Heavens

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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