North Dakota’s securities Department has issued a warning againat an initial coin offering (ICO).
The ICO was said to have impersonated Liechtenstein-based Union Bank AG to promote “unregistered and potentially fraudulent securities.”
This was made known by Karen Tyler, commissioner of the North Dakota Securities Department.
According to her, the website of the supposed ICO project, known as Union Bank Payment Coin (UBPC), had “directly copied” elements from the Union Bank website, including images, layout, wording amongt other information.
Claiming to be the “world’s first security token backed by a fully licensed bank” and offering a “stable coin that is fully backed by a fiat currency – the Swiss franc,” UBPC according to the watchdog, is a fraudulent ICO whose notion is to defraud investors by hiding behind a legitimate blockchain, which was announced in August by the regulated and licensed bank, Tyler said.
More so, the IP address for Union Bank’s website is located in Liechtenstein, while that of the fraudulent UBPC is located in Russia and is registered to an individual.
According to Tyler, “Because ICOs are sold over the internet and pitched heavily through social media platforms, North Dakotans can be exposed to the offers whether the promoter is down the street or on the other side of the globe.”
“Financial criminals continue to cash in on the hype and excitement around blockchain, crypto assets, and ICOs – investors should be exceedingly cautious when considering a related investment,” she added.
However, this is not the first time the department has taken action against companies promoting suspicious ICOs in the state; it would be recalled that in October, it issued orders against three of such ICOs, namely Crystal Token, Life Cross Coin and Advertiza Holdings.