BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Friday January 25, 2019 – Amid reports that members of the public are being invited to invest in a trading platform under an entity referred to as “The Bitcoin Wealth”, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) is warning Barbadians to be on their guard against financial scams.
In an article recently posted on what appears to be a fake news site, a claim was made that Barbados’ Ministry of Finance had invested sums of money in the acquisition of a bitcoin startup company. The article stated that Barbados had finalized a $500 million deal with the entity. Other articles with similar claims have allegedly also been made regarding other countries, and warnings have been issued via electronic media signifying that the purported platform and offer by this entity is a scam.
FSC’s CEO, Kester Guy, has consequently advised the public to exercise extreme caution when considering investment decisions in any type of offering.
“We are aware that these type of scams will continue to surface from time to time and that with crypto currency still being a novel concept to many people, there is a lot of room for misinformation, misunderstanding and misguidance. As a regulator, we want to protect the public from that, as far as we are able to,” he said.
Guy explained that there are legitimate investment opportunities out there, and advised that people should, at the very least, do a basic search to see if and where the company is registered to do business.
“Of course people want to find opportunities that offer them the best returns on their investments, but we need them to be prudent and exercise good judgment,” he said.
The FSC CEO further advised that the public should not solely rely on information provided by the company encouraging investment, but should consider four common warnings of investor scam: is it promising you high returns and low risk; did you get a hot tip or insider information; are they pressing you to buy/act now; and is the seller registered to sell investments?
“What we are stressing to the public, beyond and above all information presented to you, packaged in whatever form, is to check before you invest,” said the chief regulator.