U.K. Government Pledges to Fight Crypto and Forex Scams

• 168 companies accused of running crypto or forex scams in the U.K.
• Losses total $3.4 million with victims scattered in multiple countries
• U.K. government pledges to introduce requirement to verify information provided to Companies House

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) has recently identified 168 companies in the U.K. accused of running fraudulent crypto and foreign exchange trading scams. Victims of the scams have reported losses of roughly $3.4 million (£2.8 million) in total, with people scattered across the U.K., the U.S., Canada, Turkey, Germany, and Poland.

The scams are often initiated through social media, dating websites, and Whatsapp, where potential investors are convinced to invest in crypto trading platforms — 17 of which have been confirmed as „pig-butchering“ scams, according to the TBIJ report. Furthermore, the majority of the 168 companies identified were registered to London addresses and had at least one Chinese director. This is likely due to the U.K. being viewed as a trustworthy location and due to loopholes in the U.K.’s company registration system.

In response to the fraudulent activities, the U.K. government has pledged to „tighten the rules, including the introduction of a requirement to verify information provided to Companies House“. Financial crime investigator Graham Barrow has commented on the reform, stating that while the legislation is a welcome „step forward“, it can still pose „significant loopholes“, such as ambiguity surrounding ID verification and the potential for fraudsters to exploit the system.

In order to combat this issue, the U.K. government must introduce stricter regulations and oversight to protect citizens from falling victim to fraudulent activities. It is also important for individuals to be vigilant when investing and to be aware of the potential for scams. By following these steps, victims of the scams can hopefully be avoided and the fraudulent activities can be more effectively addressed.