Dark sides of cyberfinance
The FinTelegram Research Team receives continuous information about scams but also complaints on different subjects even serious providers. Especially in the forex, crypto, and online trading sector. The boundaries between scams and reputable providers as well as between illegal and legal approaches are often blurred. Sometimes initially serious and providers gradually mutated to scams and/or illegal ventures.
Customers notice strange transactions in their portfolio or dashboard, experience sudden losses with transactions the have not initiated, or do not receive any payouts of their credits. Additionally, more often than not, customers receive unsolicited phone calls from unknown call center agents that have apparently access to the data provided to a specific financial business only. The illegal trading of client data is a very lucrative business in dark web markets.
FinTelegram has launched a FinTel Ombudsman Service (www.fintel-ombudsman.org) as a joint venture with the EFRI NGO to deal with these issues, disputes, misbehaviors, and illegal practices in the global cyberfinance space.
The initial case
The initial case is quite typical. A CySEC-regulated investment firm (Cyprus Investment Firm or CIF) is involved in scams as a partner and service provider. In fact, many regulated financial firms try to increase their profits through “dark web activities”.
Roy Almagor‘s Maxigrid Ltd, which is regulated by CySEC under the CIF license No 145/11, has provided crypto-investment services as an additional service to their regulated broker brands Dualix, AGM Markets, and Maxigrid. Moreover, the CySEC provided payment services for unregulated brokers such as RoyalsFX or LincolnFX. These scam brokers were clients and/or partners of Maxigrid.
Client-victims of these scams lost a lot of money with it, money that they had deposited on or via bank accounts of Maxigrid. These customers have contacted FinTelegram or the European Funds Recovery Initiative (EFRI), which FinTelegram co-founded. FinTelegram’s new FinTel Ombudsman will support these customers.
The FinTel Ombudsman
The mission of FinTel Ombudsman Service of FinTelegram and EFRI is to settle complaints between consumers and financial businesses and services providers. It is not a funds recovery service. As the name suggests, the FinTel Ombudsman Service is intended to provide assistance to both the customers of financial businesses (brokers, crypto investment platforms, payment processors, FinTechs, etc.) and those businesses. In case of complaints, the FinTel Ombudsman Service will carefully review the documents and provide a fair and impartial judgment.
In the initial case of Maxigrid, we had six clients of the scam brands Royals FX and LincolnFX that complained that they lost their money via Maxigrind. FinTelegram Research verified the claims via the documents and emails provided and thus contacted the CEO of Maxigrid, Jekaterina Pedosa, and the non-executive director and beneficial owner, Roy Almagor, and requested information to settle the dispute with their customers. We have passed on the answers to the affected customers (potential victims) and are currently trying to clarify the matter. Maxigrid is a regulated company and therefore cannot simply disappear.
Stay tuned. We will report on the progress and/or the results of the dispute.