Scammers in Germany created a website for a regulatory body that does not exist in order to sell fraudulent financial products, the country’s real financial regulator BaFin has alleged.
An organisation calling itself Lance Futures, which does not have a license to trade financial products, called investors offering gold futures, BaFin says. It told potential customers that it was endorsed by the Frankfurt Financial Supervisory Authority, a regulatory body that doesn’t exist.
To support this claim, Lance Futures created a website for the fictional regulator, which included functionality such as a directory of registered brokerages. “The people who set up this scam were using very sophisticated tools and made the website look like that of a professional regulator,” a spokesperson for BaFin told the Bloomberg news agency.
The scam came to light after an investor told BaFin that he had given Lance Futures $200,000 and received nothing in return.
The practice of faking websites is a common component of phishing scams. Victims are directed to what appears to be the website of a bank and are asked to enter their account details.