The small investor must be more careful than ever. Financial stalls proliferate like mushrooms in the fall and the chances of fraud multiply. This is stated in the CNMV Annual Report for the 2021 financial year. Last year, the Spanish stock market supervisor issued a total of 508 warnings about entities not authorized to act in the securities markets. This figure represents an increase of 30.6% compared to those carried out in 2020, being the body that issued the most alerts in Europe.
“The increase in the number of warnings has been a consequence, mainly, of the consolidation of new avenues of investigation to detect these practices, which have been tested since 2019”, explains the institution chaired by Rodrigo Buenaventura in its Annual Report. In this sense, the Stock Exchange police officer highlights the appearance of new methods of fraud, through the Internet and social networks, related to the popularization of computer tools that allow remote access to user devices (computers, mobile phones, etc.), in part due to the health measures approved to fight covid-19.
“Testimonies continued to be received from Spanish investors about the use, by financial bars, of computer tools, such as the software of remote access (AnyDesk, LogMeIn, Team Viewer) and private virtual networks (VPN services), to operate fraudulently on behalf of the holder of securities and bank accounts”, they explain from the CNMV.
Last year there was also an increase in attempts to fraud investors by impersonating the identity of authorized entities. To do this, it was simulated having all the permits to operate, by using similar or identical identification data to the authorized entity. These fraudulent web pages have been identified in the supervisor’s registry with the word “clone”, informing that they have no connection with the authorized investment firm whose identity they supplant.
The CNMV has also detected attempts to fraud investors by falsifying the telephone number from which the communication is made to make it coincide with that of the supervisory body itself. “In these calls, personal or bank information is requested under the pretext of some supposed official management; for example, to be interested in losses suffered by the saver in previous investments”, the report indicates. “However, the real purpose of these calls or communications is to access the investor’s bank accounts or personal passwords and illegally appropriate his funds,” he adds.
Finally, a growing supply of services and assets related to the crypto-asset environment (such as financial contracts for differences or CFDs and other derivative products) has also been detected by entities not registered in the registers of the regulators and, therefore, , without authorization to provide these services.
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Due to the increase in traps for investors, the CNMV has promoted a national plan against financial fraud, which was specified in a protocol that was signed by 19 public and private institutions last April.
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