Last updated on October 30, 2019
The European Funds Recovery Initiative (www.EFRI.io) was launched in January 2019 as a cooperation between media, accountants,
Up until today more than 650 victims with a recorded loss volume of more than EUR 22 Mio granted a Power of Attorney (POA) to EFRI to act on their behalf and to address any individuals and entities involved in the investment scams as well as to cooperate with the respective local authorities to assist in identifying the fraudsters behind the scheme.
By analyzing all the information provided by the victims – mainly unexperienced individuals – as well as by investigating the fraud which happened to the victims EFRI identified several severe issues in the fight against this kind of fraud which evidently has been happing for the past ten years globally at an immense size.
The epidemic scam virus
According to EFRI investigations the monthly damage currently caused to European retail investors by online trading scams (hereafter also referred to as broker scams or investment scams) in Europe is estimated to be 1 billion euros (!). The numbers are still on the rise and reach epidemic growth rates as also mentioned by the Chief of the FCA Charles Randall in a speech as of Sept. 4th, 2019.
Fraudulent international criminal organisations having massive financial resources (12 billion euros* 10 years) at their disposal due to the long inactivity of the law enforcement authorities, are building up global organisational structures, deliberately exploiting the inability of the European law enforcement authorities to work across borders. These criminal organizational structures include online media houses, legal and illegal financial services companies, a booming boiler room industry and trading technology providers, as well as service providers such as lawyers and tax consultants who administer the countless shell companies involved. New Investment scams with new domains, supporting payment service providers and the appropriate boiler room support can be put onto the Web, by means of so-called white label solutions, in under 24 hours.
The suffering and crime that is happening daily in Europe, obviously unnoticed by the media and the public, is gigantic.
The unscrupulousness of the perpetrators is indescribable and the given hubris of the criminals is the result of being able to carry out their criminal activities unchallenged, especially in Western Europe, for years now.
EU Prosecutors face problems
As a matter of fact, hardly no or only very limited prosecution of such kind of fraud is actually happening in Europe. This i mainly due to the fact that the power of the regional enforcement agencies in Europe end at the respective jurisdictional borders. The cooperation within the EU is not working at an satisfactory level. Hence, criminal organizations have been able to carry out with their borderless cybercrime activities without any substantial resistance from states and courts.
This leaves EU retail investors helplessly at the mercy of the global mafia-organised cybercriminals behind the hundreds of investment scams available on the Internet.
The scale of the crime may increase as we observe that criminal organisations are increasingly moving towards using crypto currencies for this type of crime, thereby increasing the difficulty for law enforcement agencies.
The EU Petition to fight cybercrime
For this reason, we have established the EU-Petition against Investment Scams (www.cybercrime-justice.com) as an online platform for the victims to address the issues and to ask for support and for awareness of the competent authorities in the EU.
We have to stop this kind of fraud which harms unsuspecting EU citizens
and threatens the stability of financial markets on a daily basis as soon as