The United Kingdom’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), “disrupted” 26 of the 34 cryptocurrency ATMs it visited and inspected since the start of 2023.
On Feb. 14, the FCA gave an ultimatum to all crypto ATM operators in the U.K. — comply with regulations or wind down illegal operations. Following the warning, the FCA and other law enforcement agencies investigated 36 crypto ATM locations using powers under money laundering regulations.
#Crypto ATMs operating without FCA registration are illegal. The action we’ve taken over the past few months and wider work shows that we will act to stop illegal activity. #cryptocurrency https://t.co/KnMhiKAt21
— Financial Conduct Authority (@TheFCA) May 5, 2023
Speaking against the use of all crypto ATMs, Steve Smart, joint executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, stated:
“If you use a crypto ATM in the U.K., you are using a machine that is operating illegally and you may be handing your money over to criminals.”
Smart further clarified that victims of scams involving the crypto or Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs “will not be protected” by the government or the operator of the machines. Out of the lot, 18 locations were inspected in May and June, just as the FCA publicly announced the commencement of the inspection drive.
All crypto exchanges and ATMs must be registered with the FCA and comply with U.K. money laundering regulations. On July 8, Clive Police Department released a report detailing how a crypto scammer called up an unsuspecting victim pretending to represent law enforcement and stole $6,000 while threatening an arrest warrant.
Scammers utilize fear tactics and impersonate law enforcement officials to deceive unsuspecting individuals into transferring funds through crypto ATMs. However, it is important to note that law enforcement agencies never contact individuals demanding payment over the phone or via crypto.
Collect this article as an NFT to preserve this moment in history and show your support for independent journalism in the crypto space.
Sourced from cointelegraph.com.
Written by Arijit Sarkar on 2023-07-11 07:45:20.