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Saturday, November 25, 2023

Immediate Connect: French financial regulators caution against investment scam

French financial watchdog, the Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF), has issued a public advisory against Immediate Connect, a shady automated investment platform promoted on social media.

In its official statement ↗, the AMF said promoters of Immediate Connect rely on several techniques to lure unsuspecting investors to their automated trading platform. A preliminary investigation by the AMF reveals that Immediate Connect claims to offer investors millions of euros as returns with zero risks.

Using impersonation tactics, promoters advertise Immediate Connected to potential investors with the likeness of famous television presenters and fake news articles “extolling the merits of the service.”

After gaining the attention of investors, fund managers reach out to interested clients, urging them to sink funds into the trading platform for digital currencies ↗ or the foreign exchange (forex) market. The scammers use fake trading reports to convince victims that their initial investments have yielded positive returns.

However, attempts to withdraw are often met with a request to pay capital gains taxes and other withdrawal fees designed to flee victims of their hard-earned funds.

Aware of the antics of Immediate Connect, the financial regulator has added the firm to its burgeoning blacklist of fraudulent investment firms.

“The AMF would like to remind retail investors that only companies authorized as investment services providers in the European Union are permitted to offer brokerage services such as trading, whether automated or not, in forex or crypto-asset derivatives,” said the AMF.

“Only digital asset service providers (DASPs) registered with the AMF are authorized to offer the purchase and sale, custody or trading of crypto-assets to the French public via promotional marketing material,” the AMF added.

Investors are advised to be wary of investment firms promising quick returns with zero risks and to confirm the firm’s status before sinking funds. The AMF’s advisory urges investors to tread cautiously on investing in the Forex market, given the wild price swings that can wipe off trading capital in minutes.

The AMF’s crusade

The blacklisting of Immediate Connect is not the first time the AMF is cracking down ↗ on the activities of illegal investment platforms. In Q3 of 2023, the AMF, in partnership with the Prudential Control and Resolution Authority (ACPR), blacklisted 22 fake investment websites, bringing the total number of flagged websites to over 60.

The introduction of a “Responsible Influence Certificate” by the AMF has curbed the use of influencers in promoting ↗ fake investment platforms. On the legislative front, individuals convicted for running illegal investment platforms face up to three years of imprisonment and payment of fines over $1 million.

Watch: Trust but verify: Everything

New to blockchain? Check out CoinGeek’s Blockchain for Beginners ↗ section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about blockchain technology.

BFIA Admin
BFIA Admin
The big boss.

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