Warning about fraudsters claiming to hold KNF authorisation to engage in cryptocurrency exchange
The Polish Financial Supervision Authority (UKNF) is receiving signals on activities of individuals claiming to be supervised by the KNF in relation to the cryptocurrency exchange transactions they offer. Consumers are contacted by phone and induced to sell or buy cryptocurrencies. They are told the transaction will comply with the KNF requirements on the recording of transactions effected by phone, which supposedly means desktop sharing. The callers also claim that a UKNF employee will be presented during the operation to monitor the proper conduct of the exchange transaction.
In the light of the foregoing, please be advised that in Poland the cryptocurrency market is not a regulated or supervised market. The KNF does not authorise, supervise, or exercise any other supervisory powers in relation to, the trade in cryptocurrencies. Some entities operating in the cryptocurrency market are authorised to provide payment services, in particular to settle payments made with legal tender (fiat money) in exchange for the cryptocurrencies being bought or sold. In that respect, those entities are supervised by the KNF. Yet it should be stressed that the KNF supervision only covers proper provision of payment services and excludes the issue whether such entities or persons they represent actually perform their obligations arising from the purchase or sale of cryptocurrencies.
The KNF supervision never involves direct participation of UKNF employees in relations with clients or individual financial transactions. Therefore, a claim that any transaction of acquisition or disposal of cryptocurrencies would involve participation of the KNF, UKNF employees or any person authorised by the supervisory authority is completely unfounded and is most likely evidence of attempted fraud. Please be informed that the data obtained during such operation might be used by fraudsters to commit identity theft or to steal money.
If you have been told during a phone call that someone is performing activities with the involvement or in agreement with the KNF or UKNF, please do not get into the conversation and call the nearest police station immediately. Try to gather as many details about the event as possible and provide them in your report. Each piece of information may be helpful.
We also call for extreme caution when communicating with individuals offering financial services or transactions by means of remote communication (phone and e-mail), especially if you have never been a client of a similar firm before. Try to verify the identity of those individuals and the alleged purpose of the contact.
You can visit the KNF website to check if the entity represented by the caller is authorised to provide financial services in the territory of Poland: https://www.knf.gov.pl/en/ENTITIES
You can also check the entity by searching the KNF’s list of public warnings: https://www.knf.gov.pl/en/CONSUMERS/Information_for_the_financial_market_consumers/Public_warnings
Do not make any decision on the spur of the moment. If you cannot obtain reliable information, do not engage in any further contact.