Wex.nz cryptocurrency scam advsiory 23 November 2018

Over the last 24 hours Netsafe has received numerous reports about the cryptocurrency exchange Wex.nz. From the reports we’ve received, it’s our understanding that the trading platform has been operated by scammers, and people are now unable to withdraw currency that has been deposited.

Cryptocurrency has been around for some time, but has become much better known by the general public in the past year. Due to growing popularity, there has been a surge in currencies being created and a lot more people purchasing.  Cryptocurrencies can be complicated and are often lightly regulated. Genuine crypto-currency trading exchanges generally do not have terms that restrict withdrawals in this way.

Advice for people who believe they may have been scammed by Wex.nz: 

Unfortunately it appears that you may have engaged with a ‘trading platform’ that is operated by scammers. With these types of ‘Investment Scams’ it is virtually impossible to get your money back. We have found that there are numerous reviews online of this supposed ‘exchange’ where people have not been able to withdraw the money they’ve deposited.

Genuine crypto-currency trading exchanges generally do not have terms that restrict withdrawals in this way.

The best advice we can share with you is to stop all contact with the scammers. If any of the charges have been made to a credit card you can apply to your bank for a chargeback. Most banks have a 60-day limit from the time of purchase for you to lodge a chargeback request and not all chargeback requests are successful. You can read more about chargebacks here.

If you have shared sensitive personal information with the scammer, this Identity Theft Checklist is a helpful guide on what could happen with your information. If you believe you were exposed to identity theft, we suggest you contact iDCare as they provide free help and support.

The Financial Markets Authority here in New Zealand have advice on cryptocurrencies on their website.

They also have published an information page about investing with this information:

Warning signs to look out for

An ‘investment’ is likely to be a scam if you experience any of the following:

  • Someone you don’t know contacts you about an investment opportunity. 
  • You’re promised very high returns, with little risk. These promises are nearly always too good to be true.
  • The person/business gives you little or no information in writing. All legitimate investments must have documents explaining the investment.
  • You’re told the offer is known only to a select few and should be kept a secret. This is often a ploy to make you feel special and to stop you speaking to an adviser or the authorities.
  • You’re promised access to ‘secret’ overseas banking markets supposedly offering very high returns – these markets don’t exist.

You can find more information about investing from the FMA website here.

You can also consider making a complaint to the Financial Markets Authority directly. They explain; “We investigate complaints about illegal investment offers. We publish warnings and alerts when we find organisations have made illegal investment offers or operated illegal investment schemes.” You can find their complaints process here.

Report a scam

If you have lost money to this scam: Netsafe can’t open investigations or track scammers, but we can offer support and advice for people who have lost money in a scam, or think they are about to. This includes letting you know the steps you can take depending on the scam you’re in and giving you advice about how to stay safe in future.

Our help service is open from 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 5pm on weekends.

Report a scam

Tips to avoid scams

We have information about spotting and avoiding scams on our website.

More information

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