Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which created a crisis in the markets, there was an increase in fraud attempts by investors. During 2020, the Securities Market Commission (CMVM) issued close to 50 alerts on entities not entitled to provide financial services. This is an unprecedented number and the highest in the last seven years, advances Business.
The CMVM has intensified in recent months the alerts to investors for the occurrence of activities with the potential to be fraudulent. The 45 alerts on entities not authorized to provide financial services was the largest amount ever made by the Commission. So far, the maximum number of annual alerts in the last decade has not exceeded 12, and they occurred in 2011 and 2012, in a period of financial crisis that hit the country.
The newspaper took stock of the fraud records of the last few years, between 2013 and the end of 2019, adding 42 alerts about entities that pretended to be financial intermediaries registered to provide the services. The number of alerts recorded in the last six years, before 2020, is only half of the total occurred during this year. The last occurrence of attempted fraud occurred earlier this week, from an entity that was trying to associate itself with the Montepio bank. This was the third warning this December.
According to a CMVM spokesman, there are several factors that contribute to the increase in fraud, from the current context of low interest rates, which encourage greater risk by investors; as well as facilitated access to digital media to promote financial activities and services through new technologies. With the increase in the number of cases, the Commission has reinforced the monitoring of these entities in order to accelerate the reaction to eliminate fraud attempts, and in this way, protect investors looking for authorized and law enforcement financial intermediaries.
Among the alerts, there are also nine related to fraudulent sites that misuse elements of identification of entities that are supervised by the CMVM. The alerts were accompanied by 42 complaints from investors.
The regulator has made efforts to disseminate information about digital fraud on its website, calling on consumers of financial products to be aware. They should consult the list of financial intermediaries authorized to provide the service, so as not to fall into fraud schemes. The CMVM also states that the increase in the phenomenon is global, and that of the 607 alerts in 2018, 1,408 alerts in 2019, in 2020 3,555 alerts from similar agencies worldwide were registered.