When analyzing the scams against which the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued an investor warning yesterday, two suspects stand out once again – Praxis Cashier as a payment gateway and St. Vincent and the Grenadines as the given address of the scam operating entities. This is also the case with Universal Markets (http://www.umarkets.io, http://www.umarketspro.com, or http://www.umarketspro.net). The scam is allegedly operated by Universal Services LLC, register number 193LLC2019, and/or UM Media LLC, register number 240LLC2020. Surprise! Both companies are registered in, Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
When processing payments on the Universal Markets scam through Praxis Cashier, we discovered a slight mutation that we had not noticed before. On the scam’s first payment page, Praxis Cashier does not appear. On this first page, the link behind “Customer Service and Deposit Help” refers to a separate page linked with the domain www.ccsecpay.com (CCSECPAY) where Praxis Cashier documentation is available. However, the documentation is customized to the scam customer Universal Markets (http://www.universalmarkets.com).
Praxis Cashier is apparently evolving and trying to hide its scam involvement behind an intermediate domain and page. We learned that the domain http://www.ccsecpay.com is to be associated with Praxis Cashier.
Behind the payment gateway, we also discovered the UK-based high-risk payment processor Ecommpay (www.ecommpay.com) as a payment processor. However, in our review of the scam, this payment option did not work anymore.
In June 2020, the Spanish regulator CNMV warned about the Universal Markets scam (see report here). On March 1, 2021, the UK FCA also issued an investor warning. Therefore, it is astonishing that payment processors like Praxis Cashier – as gateway operators – still knowingly and willingly support the scam.