A new report from Belgium’s economic inspectorate revealed today that Belgians suffered a massive loss in cryptocurrency-related fraud last year.
According to De Tijd, a Belgian newspaper that mainly focuses on business and economics, in a routine economic inspection headed by PS MP Hugues Bayet, the minister of economy Nathalie Muylle announced that Belgians lost a whooping €2.94 million ($32. million) in crypto scams in 2019.
The figure reported does not represent the entire amount loss to cryptocurrency malefactors, as victims find it difficult to state how much damage incurred, Muylle said.
Even though fraudsters outside Belgium are perpetrating most of the fraud, the minister said that the inspectorate is given the necessary approval to combine with other security agents, in order to conduct investigations into these cases.
However, there is no much synergy between the security agents and the judiciary, as observed in a case last year.
The economic inspectorate had forwarded a case of cryptocurrency fraud to the public prosecutor’s office last year, but up till this moment, the inspectorate is yet to get any meaningful feedback from the prosecutor.
Muylle acknowledged that the ministry is taking preventive measures, including conducting several campaigns on social media platforms to expose hackers’ antics, to curb cryptocurrency-related fraud in the country.
In addition, the economic inspectorate has also joined forces with relevant security agencies to ensure the issue of crypto fraud becomes a thing of the past, Muylle said.
Most financial experts believe the key to combating fraud in the cryptocurrency space is by regulating the industry to check the excesses of bad actors.
In Europe, the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) had urged regulators to establish a common regulatory approach in the region rather than a national regulation.
As reported on Hegion last year, in efforts to regulate the cryptocurrency space to ensure the safety of investors and the global financial industry, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) published new guidelines for member states to adhere to when regulating the digital assets industry.