France warns of social trading app Immediate Connect

abdelaziz Fathi

The Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), France’s financial regulator, alongside the Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office, is raising a red flag for investors about Immediate Connect’s dubious cryptocurrency investment pitch.

Immediate Connect

In a joint effort following a June alert, the AMF is dealing with a surge of complaints related to this shady automated trading scheme that’s finding fresh victims via new websites.

The scam was initially flagged on June 23 when the AMF responded to investor alarms about Immediate Connect’s copy trading app. These services were being promoted online, including through social media, using fake endorsements from celebrities and bogus news articles. Investors stumbled upon these offers through what seemed to be credible articles from reputable news outlets, including fabricated interviews with well-known TV hosts praising the trading service.

After showing interest, victims were quickly roped in by supposed financial advisors who pushed them to sign up on unlicensed platforms to invest in Forex or crypto-assets. However, when it was time to withdraw their supposed profits, the investors were hit with demands to pay a non-existent capital gains tax upfront.

The AMF has identified new instances of this scam through various internet domains that act as “clones” to the original fraudulent sites. They’ve promptly added some to their blacklists, with more under scrutiny.

During a hearing at the Paris Court of First Instance on October 9, several websites associated with Immediate Connect were restricted upon the request of the AMF. Access to these specific sites is required to be blocked within French territory by Internet service providers. Additional domains may be subject to further blocking requests in subsequent court hearings, the AMF added.

Addresses added to AMF blacklists:

  • Immediateconnect.co
  • Immediateconnect.ai
  • The-immediateconnect.com
  • Immediate-connect.com
  • Immediategranimator.org
  • Immediategranimator.com
  • Immediategranimator.io
  • Immediateconnect.org
  • Immediateconnect.me
  • Immediateconnect.com
  • Julinfob.com/offers/OatdymOocb/Granimator-fr-v2qq
  • Granimator.org
  • Augworldi.com/OatdymOocb/Granimator-fr-v2qq
  • Immediatebitcoin.io
  • Granimator.me
  • Granimator.live
  • Quantumprimeprofit.io
  • Quantum-ai.io
  • immediateconnect.ai
  • www.immediateconnect.ai
  • immediateconnect.co
  • www.immediateconnect.co
  • the-immediateconnect.com
  • www.the-immediateconnect.com
  • immediateconnect.com
  • www.immediateconnect.com

To operate legally, the AMF reminds that companies must be authorized as investment service providers within the EU to offer such brokerage services, including automated trading in forex or cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, only registered providers are allowed to offer crypto transactions to the French public with promotional communication.

The Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office has highlighted the severe legal repercussions of offering unauthorized investment services, which can include hefty fines up to €2 million and prison sentences for individuals. These activities could also lead to charges of organized fraud, with even stiffer penalties.

To avoid falling prey to these and similar scams, the AMF advises investors to be skeptical of any trading platforms promising quick and guaranteed returns, to steer clear of the unregulated Forex market, and to verify that any company offering financial services is authorized and not listed on any AMF blacklist.

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