Fiji FIU Warns Citizens About New Cryptocurrency Scam

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The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in Fiji has issued a warning to citizens of the country about a cryptocurrency scam that is being touted as a project which has the backing of the government. According to the watchdog, the advert has been posted across several social media platforms including Viber bearing the official logo of a certain government agency.

Additionally, the advert also includes a picture of a staff member of the said government agency.

Two phone numbers were also included for further enquires, one is a local number while the other is a foreign number. The advert encourages citizens to buy Bitcoin (BTC), and foreign exchange and also get involved in binary trading using their mobile wallets or bank transfers.

The Director of the Fiji FIU Razim Buksh said “these advertisements are fake.” Buksh urges Fijians to be vigilant and watchful not to fall victim to the scam. He believes that the perpetrators could launch their attack in several forms. Therefore, Fijians should be mindful of offers that they receive on social media for investment, employment, and loans.

Fijians to Receive Authorization

In effect, all citizens who intend to engage in any offshore investment including digital assets trading must request permission from the Reserve Bank of Fiji before embarking on such a project. Buksh says any unauthorized citizen who eventually gets involved will be violating the Exchange Control Act. For now, the offshore investment facility has been suspended till further notice.

“Members of the public are advised that only Fijian currency issued by the Reserve Bank of Fiji is legal tender in Fiji. There are currently no authorized virtual assets service providers in Fiji. Transactions involving foreign currency will be conducted through commercial banks, authorized foreign exchange dealers, and money changers in Fiji,” Buksh said

The FIU has already set up structures that make it easier to spot a scam. Notably, the Fijian watchdog implemented anti-money laundering (AML) regulations as well as preventive measures to safeguard commercial banks, money remittance service providers, and other financial institutions. Once there is suspicious activity, it can be reported to the watchdog.

At mid-year, the Council of the European Union (EU) decided to establish an AML squad in the spirit of crypto regulations.

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