Australia’s Corporate Regulator Issues Warning Against Crypto Scam

Asia Blockchain Review
June 3, 2019

Australia’s financial regulator, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), has red-flagged and warned against an alleged crypto-related scam entity that has been dealing under the names Datalon Ltd and GFC Investments.

As reported by Cointelegraph, ASIC alleges that the business made “unsolicited calls” or sent emails about investing, financial advice, credit or loans while possessing neither an Australian Financial Services license nor an ASIC-issued Australian Credit license.

The flagged website of GFC Investments, which claims to have established its business in 2012, offers users the opportunity to trade various cryptocurrencies as well as foreign exchange (forex) and contracts-for-differences.

ASIC had previously released a warning against five misleading initial coin offering (ICO) projects and crypto asset funds targeted at retail investors. The move was in response to a lack of appropriate investor protection measures on part of the fundraisers in question. According to the watchdog, the offerings also needed to be restructured in order to meet existing legal standards.

In September 2018, one ICO was ordered to shut down permanently due to safety concerns. Additionally, ASIC has announced plans to step up regulatory oversight of crypto exchanges and ICOs.

In early May, the French stock market regulator AMF reported a 14,000% surge in enquiries related to fraudulent crypto offers in 2018 compared to 2016. This was accompanied by a decrease in fraudulent online offers in other industries, including forex and binary options.

A week later, blockchain startups RepuX and JoyToken reportedly defrauded investors out of a US$4.7 million and US$3.3 million, respectively, after running ICO promotions during March and April 2018.


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