The Fake Regulator Scam model is for sure not new, but amid the COVID-19 crisis and the many scams, it seems to be booming again. After the UK FCA, the German BaFin, the Austrian FMA has recently issued a warning against scammers who approach potential victims as alleged employees of the regulatory authority and offer various services that are supposed to bring money to the potential victim.
In the Fake Regulator Scam model, the villains – typically boiler room agents – try to lure money out of the potential victims by using fake logos, lettering, and e-mail addresses of the regulatory authorities. In some cases, they even use fake orders sent to potential victims. The first contact is always unsolicited.
The scammers promise, for example, that they can recover lost money for the victims if they make an initial payment in advance to cover expenses. In many cases, these are the same scammers who stole the money from the victims. Therefore they also have the data of the victims. This is a variant of the “Funds Recovery Scam” that many scammers run next to the actual scam. They take advantage of the victims’ desperation after they have realized the loss through the scam. They are psychologically skilled and offer themselves as well-meaning helpers.