Cybertrace is issuing an urgent alert for the CFD Advanced scam which uses multiple domains, including www.cfdadv.com and www.cfdadvanced.london. Offering contracts for difference (CFDs), a highly risky and speculative form of investment, these fraudsters are highly convincing. Our expert analysts are aware that the scammers are targeting Australian victims, including retirees with significant super balances. The fraudsters try to bamboozle their targets with a slickly designed website, technical jargon, and lofty promises. However, just like other forex and crypto scams, the only thing victims are left with is an empty bank account. Please do not invest any of your hard-earned money with these scammers and look out for your older relatives, too. If the fraudsters have already deceived you, don’t be embarrassed! Contact Cybertrace’s experienced investigators today to find out how we can help. But first, let’s see how this scam works and what red flags there are.
How does the CFD Advanced scam work?
CFD Advanced is the latest addition to a growing list of forex and cryptocurrency scams Cybertrace has recently exposed. Scammers target victims directly via phone or social media with “amazing investment opportunities” and a professional-looking website. Once the fraudsters have gained victims’ trust, including by using Australian bank accounts, they induce them to open a “trading account”. Next, the scammers convince them that they have made a high initial “win” and even transfer some of this “win” back into their account. Victims feel trusting and confident and transfer more and more of their money to the fraudsters. Some have gone so far as investing their entire super balance!
For a while, everything seems fine. Either a “broker” reassures victims of continual gains or an “online trading platform” appears to show real-time losses and gains. It is only when victims try to withdraw any money that problems start to arise. At first, the CFD Advanced scammers will demand payment of significant “withholding tax” or “income tax” before releasing any funds. Next, they will simply delay and eventually cease contact altogether. It is only now that many victims realise that there were never any real “trading accounts”, “wins”, “brokers” or “online trading platforms” and that all the “taxes” were fake, too, and simply additional means of scamming even more money off them. So how can you protect yourself? Let’s consider some of the red flags our expert investigators look for.
Unlicensed and unregulated
Any genuine trading or investment company will list where and by whom it is licensed and regulated. Having an independent regulator provides assurance and protection for consumers against fraud and malpractice. Tellingly, the CFD Advanced scam does not provide any such information on its website. It claims to be UK-based, but a search of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority’s Financial Services Register reveals that it does not actually have authorisation to trade by the regulator. In addition, CFD Advanced is not subject to any official dispute settlement or compensation schemes.
As a result, the highly respected Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) explicitly warns against using CFD Advanced. Finally, the jurisdiction where the company claims to be registered, St Vincent and the Grenadines, is a well-known international tax haven. Due to its widespread use by fraudsters, the country’s Financial Services Authority has recently issued a warning that it does not ‘regulate, monitor, supervise or license’ any forex-trading companies. The message is clear: stay away from the CFD Advanced scam!
Nameless and Faceless
Another tell-tale sign of scams is the absence of any information on who owns, runs, or works for CFD Advanced. This makes sense: they do not want to get caught! Their website doesn’t offer any names, pictures, or bios, nor is any such information available on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram. In fact, the scammers’ social media game is atrocious: they only recently created corporate Facebook and LinkedIn pages in which, among several fake puff-piece reviews, they inadvertently linked to a review that actually named them as a scam! In addition, all the Facebook comments on their page are from scam victims discussing how to get their money back. You couldn’t make it up! Finally, CFD Advanced uses an Icelandic private domain registration company to register its website, thus hiding its true owner. These are all clear indications that the CFD Advanced scammers are pretending to be someone they are not!
While not disclosing any relevant information, the website is big on bluster and bravado. For example, the CFD Advanced scammers claim that they received more than forty awards. They even made up fake little icons saying “Top Broker 2020” and “Best Service 2020”. However, no corroborating information exists in any press releases, media reports or award recipient lists of key industry bodies. Furthermore, the fraudsters maintain that they launched their operation in 2010, yet domain records clearly show that their website was only registered in February 2021. No names + fake claims = beware of fraud!
An important step before investing money with anyone is some background research to find out what others’ experiences have been. Unfortunately, when it comes to the CFD Advanced scam, the news is all bad. Both individual reviews on Trustpilot and specialised broker sites such as Personal Reviews and Forex Review call out CFD Advanced as a scam. Note that you shouldn’t take all reviews at face value, as some might be fake themselves. However, taken together with all the other tell-tale signs, it is beyond doubt that CFD Advanced is a scam.
What can I do to protect myself from the CFD Advanced scam?
Safeguarding yourself, your family, and older relatives against financial fraud has just become easier thanks to Cybertrace’s band-new tool: ScamSleuth. It’s a free, easy-to-use public scam detector to help you discern what is fake and what is real. Simply pop the website into ScamSleuth and, within seconds, its user-friendly traffic light system informs you of the risk level. As explained in a recent blog, ScamSleuth is so effective because it doesn’t just automatically tap into multiple global databases. Rather, it combines this with exclusive access to the vast vaults of virtual intelligence from Cybertrace’s forensic website investigations. ScamSleuth is truly a premium product and best of all – it’s quick and completely free to use.
What if they have scammed me already?
Don’t feel bad if the scammers have already deceived you. They are a professional outfit that know how to mislead and manipulate their targets. However, do NOT under any circumstances send them any more money in the hope of retrieving your funds! There are no “taxes” payable – they are simply looking to scam you even further! Likewise, beware of any recovery scams that promise guaranteed results in getting your money back. Usually, these are just other scammers hoping to dupe you again and double your pain. Instead, go with independently verified and accredited investigators such as Cybertrace. Since 2015, we have successfully investigated cyber fraud, traced cryptocurrencies, and exposed scam syndicates all around the world. Talk to our experienced investigators today to find out how we can help you.
If you are a current or former staff member of the syndicate and would like to speak with us, you can contact us anonymously via [email protected]. We have successfully worked with conscientious insiders when investigating previous scams, thus bringing justice and relief to long-suffering victims. Your help can make a real difference!