Portugal’s Comissão do Mercado de Valores Mobillários (CMVM) is warning investors of a new generation of unregulated brokers and unchecked traders that are using flashy social media profiles to trick them into thinking they can trade online and make thousands in no time.
The most recent additions to the CMVM’s warning list are two associated online operators, the website https://blvcknetwork.com/ and its social media account on Instagram.
However, these brands do not have the necessary accreditation or qualifications to offer these services, though they promise very lucrative and guaranteed returns. All fake promises tend to stop after victims have invested money and got their first round of profits, the Portugal watchdog warns.
The regulator explicitly points out that BLVCKCRYPTO is promoting speculative and risky trading products and that investors could lose their entire investment.
Today’s warning comes a few days after Portuguese authorities announced plans to probe social media influencers who provide advice on crypto-related investments.
The action comes in the wake of an online petition signed by thousands of Portuguese who claimed that there are massive quick-rich schemes involving cryptocurrencies, forex, sports betting and stocks investments.
Over the last few years, as cryptocurrencies gained mainstream attention, scammers have become far more prevalent, they said.
Risks in Trading with Unlicensed Entities
Officials urge potential victims to check whether these providers are selling a financial product without the required authorization from the regulator.
The CMVM typically blacklists unlicensed platforms engaged in activities that may pose a risk to investors in its jurisdiction, which are apparently targeting Portuguese traders.
Portugal’s watchdog confirmed that registration under local laws is required in principle, even for overseas operators offering financial instruments for residents, or making transactions on their behalf as counterparties.
The watchdog has made several notable clampdowns of late against a number of fraudulent trading schemes. However, ultimately the onus is on investors to exercise due diligence before embarking on any activities, the CMVM says.
In conclusion, the Portugal regulator advises investors to check whether the brokerage or platform are regulated by CMVM, which is in charge of forex brokers operating in Portugal.