Belgium’s FSMA says crypto scams still account for 50% of fraud activity

Belgium’s financial regulator highlights in a recent report that crypto scams and fraudulent trading platforms still account for 50% of all fraud reports in the first half of 2024.

Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) is intensifying efforts to tackle fraudulent crypto activity, which continues to constitute a significant portion of illicit activity reports.

In a Jul. 4 report, the FSMA revealed that crypto scams and fraudulent trading platforms accounted for 50% of the total fraud reports received by the agency in the first half of 2024. During the period, the FSMA issued nine warnings, identifying 187 fraudulent entities and 239 associated websites, the report reads. Additionally, two thematic warnings were issued, addressing fake investment games and cases of identity theft involving the FSMA’s name.

Main fraud trends in Belgium | Source: FSMA

Online trading platforms and crypto scams remain a major concern, as highlighted by the 1,332 consumer notifications of illicit activities received in the first six months of 2024, marking a 44% increase from the 925 notifications in the same period of 2023, the FSMA noted.

In Belgium, the domestic crypto exchange landscape has changed significantly recently. Bit4You, the first and only Belgian lending platform, suspended its activities in 2023 after one of its main partners, CoinLoan, was declared insolvent by an Estonian court in 2023. Additionally, in the same period, the FSMA ordered Binance to cease offering any crypto services in the country, stating that the exchange was providing services from countries “that are not members of the European Economic Area.”

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