Update May 20, 2019 (5.30pm): Offer, the ExchangeITonline CEO sent an email to FinTelegram today saying that his crypto exchange is not doing business with any Forex platform. He would apply proper KYC/AML procedures, he argued. Our team checked again and found that all of the scam sites of the Zoo Broker Scam network actually link to exchangeITonline for crypto deposits on their platforms. We asked Offer for a respective statement to continue our research and would be happy to learn more details. The German Euro Payment Group GmbH (EPG) is registered in Frankfurt and controlled by the German Merkur Interactive GmbH. Its subsidiary EPG Financial Services Limited in Malta is licensed and supervised by the Maltesian financial supervisory authority MFSA. Nevertheless, the company is evidently providing payment services to the Estonian Exchange IT Online OÜ, a company closely connected to a vast Forex & Crypto scam network – the so-called Zoo Broker Scam network.
The Zoo Broker Scam network is a vast next-generation broker scam network with many illegally and fraudulently operating brands. The network no longer offers bank wires as a payment option but bets on crypto instead. Consequently, the network established its own crypto payment services provider Exchange IT Online OÜ in Estonia which operates the crypto payment platform ExchangeITonline.
Victims of the Zoo Broker Scam brands are requested to make their online deposits via ExchangeITonline, i.e. the victims have to buy cryptocurrencies to deposit them with the respective broker brand. Currently, ExchangeITonline offers five payment options:
credit card transfers
Sofort bank transfers via EGP
Evidently, the licensed PSP EPG Euro Payment Group has accepted ExchangeITonline as a merchant and enables the crypto exchange to offer Klarna‘s “Sofort” (i.e. instant bank transfer) as a payment option.
Registered payment services providers are legally obliged to apply proper KYC/AML procedures when accepting merchants such as ExchangeITonline. Even though the latter has been granted a license to operate a virtual currency exchange in Estonia, it is most certainly part of the Zoo Broker Scam network and as such facilitates investment fraud.
Payment services provider such as EPG should act as a gatekeeper to the financial system to prevent scams and fraud schemes from doing their illicit businesses. That said, it’s important to conduct KYC and AML checks properly in the very best interest of investor protection.