Crypto Scams targeting rising Pacific communities, say New Zealand regulators

Crypto scams targeting rising Pacific communities, New Zealand regulators say - scam crypto 1 1024x539Cryptocurrency investment scams targeting Pacific communities are on the rise. It was communicated by the New Zealand's Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and the Commission of Commerce.

Awareness campaign launched to protect Pacific communities

Concerns about several cryptocurrency-related frauds and others exploiting the coronavirus emergency have prompted the two regulators to launch an awareness campaign. This is aimed at protecting communities from the patterns used by criminals.

According to the FMA, there has been a "steady increase in complaints" since March related to a variety of different frauds. The news published on social media regarding scams involving bitcoins, implemented by falsifying fundraisers by celebrities, have been identified as the most widespread in recent months.

Targeted attacks on the large ethnic communities of New Zealand

FMA regulation director Liam Mason warned in a press release that some scams were targeted specifically at Pacific communities. New Zealand is home to sizeable populations of various ethnic backgrounds from the Pacific islands living in cities including Auckland and Wellington.

“We have seen the OneCoin pyramid scheme proliferate through Pacific social and community groups. Last year the FMA also reiterated its warning that Skyway Group (or SWIG) could be involved in a scam and was targeting Pacific groups, "said Mason.

Referring to those who have been victims of the scams, Mason said: "At the very least, check if [the investment firms] are in the register of online financial service providers, as they should be by law." He added, "Or check if they have been named on the FMA Alerts page."

One Coin: a dangerous pyramid scheme

The awareness campaign includes Web pages and other bilingual sources, as well as radio announcements that have been played by the most popular Pacific radio stations in the Samoan and Tongan languages, the two most spoken Pacific languages ​​in the region.

“Our advice is quite simple: don't trust it, take a look. Even if someone you love and trust tells you that a money making scheme is going well, don't trust it. There are many resources that you can use to carry out simple searches, such as Netsafe and the Scamwatch website, "said Joseph Liava'a, associate commissioner at the Trade Commission, consumer and competition supervisor.

OneCoin was called a multibillion-dollar pyramid scheme based on "lies" exposed by US prosecutors in March last year when they framed its leaders, Ruja Ignatova and Konstantin Ignatov.

The central bank of Samoa launched an investigation into the alleged fraud in 2018 after the promoters targeted local investors on the islands. Our advice? Use reliable software like Bitcoin system to protect you from scams!