New Zealand's Financial Authority Updates List Of 'Suspected' Crypto Scams

Kevin O'Brien

New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has made a couple of updates to its list of suspected scams by providing information and insight into a couple of cryptocurrency platforms.

Recently, the FMA advised “extreme caution” before investing into OneLife or OneCoin as they “bear the characteristics of a scam.” The regulator indicated they have been “withholding client funds and promising unrealistic funds.”

On the same day, the financial authority updated an entry for Bitcoin Revolution Limited, a platform “that could be involved in a scam.” The website for Bitcoin Revolution Limited advertises how people can “earn up to $1000 per hour or more, starting today!.”

Activities Have Attracted The Attention Of Regulators

The FMA indicated it believes OneLife and OneCoin are breaking New Zealand Law by holding various promotional events and seminars inside the country. A number of global regulators and financial authorities have also published warnings and briefings on OneLife and OneCoin.

OneCoin’s Bulgarian address attracted the attention of the nation’s Financial Supervision Commission, who released an announcement on the platform back in October 2015. It warned investors and consumers that OneCoin was “not regulated by the acting European and national legislation in the area of capital markets.” The Commission noted cryptocurrency investment carries a high degree of risk.

In July 2016, the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) warned the public “neither OneCoin, nor the persons promoting OneCoin have been recognized or authorized by the FSMA.”

New Zealand’s FMA also indicated in the release for Bitcoin Revolution Limited how “articles posted on social media about The New Zealand Treasury and/or current or former prime ministers investing in bitcoin are false.” About a year ago, former Prime Minister John Key said he was the victim of a fake New Zealand Herald website that purportedly featured him endorsing bitcoin.  

The fake page was set up by an overseas website and had the former prime minister saying he invested in bitcoin early on and now held $300 million dollar’s worth of the cryptocurrecy. Key noted he never invested in bitcoin.

New Zealand Authorities On The Hunt For Scams

Police inside the small country have been warning citizens to stay vigilant against online scams that involve cryptocurrency.

In late September, police in Canterbury released a news memo about a criminal scheme where a victim lost $320,000 via a cryptocurrency scam. Police said the company “offered extremely good returns from a minimal investment” in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.