UK home to hundreds of companies running crypto, forex scams

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) Identified 168 companies accused of carrying out cryptocurrency or illicit foreign exchange trading fraud in the UK

Fraud victims are often approached via social media, dating sites and Whatsapp and persuaded to invest in cryptocurrency trading platforms, according to a TBIJ report.

Total losses of $3.4 million – no signs of recovery

The scam has resulted in approximately $3.4 million (£2.8 million) in losses from victims scattered across the UK, US, Canada, Turkey, Germany and Poland.

Most of the 168 companies identified were registered with London addresses and had at least one Chinese director, according to the report. This is because the UK is seen as a reliable place.

Government precautions warned.

The UK government has pledged to “strengthen regulations, including introducing a requirement to verify information provided to Companies House”.

But financial crimes investigator Graham Barrow warns that while the reform is a welcome “progress”, the law could introduce “significant loopholes.” This includes an ambiguity regarding her identity verification for “an individual registers a company using the company’s service her provider.”

Mr Barrow said:

“We’ve known for at least 20 years that UK companies are being used for these scams and are perhaps the largest provider of fraud companies in the world.”

Mr Barrow described the UK’s inaction on cryptocurrency scams as a ‘disastrous failure’ and said more needs to be done to prevent these scams, including verifying information provided to Companys House. suggests that

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