Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) makes continuous efforts to keep the public inform of unregulated companies and to protect local investors from frauds. The regulator issued a public warning on Friday of six companies, which are not authorized to provide investment services in Belgium and are possibly boiler room scams.
The below-listed companies are engaging in unauthorized activities on the Belgian market:
-Bellmore Group (www.bellmoregroup.com)
-Devin Consultants (www.devinconsultants.com)
-Excon Fuji Securities (www.efsecurities.com)
-Olivier and Mann (www.olivierandmann.com)
-Orix Capital Trading (www.orixtrading.com)
-Westward Holdings (www.westwardholdings.com)
In its official notice, FSMA also included a list of recommendations to Belgian investors. The regulator advises them to verify the identity of the company offering them financial services, to check whether it is licensed, and whether it is present in warning lists published by FSMA and other regulators. The Belgium financial watchdog also recommends that investors are wary of unsolicited phone calls/emails (cold calling), of requests for money transfer to a country without any connection to the company, of “cloned firms”, etc.
Boiler room scams are illegal high-pressure operations, in which fraudsters typically cold call people, offering to sell them some financial products, or to provide account management, investment advice, investment in crowdfunding, etc. Scammers usually present themselves as being authorized and eligible businesses, and promise massive returns. Investors are lured into making an initial, oftentimes small investment which soon appears to be profitable. Afterwards, however, fraudsters ask for further investments which end up being losing ones. To get their money back, investors are asked, often through pressure, to make additional payments.
Earlier this week FSMA warned the public against several binary options brokers illegally operating on the Belgian market, although the public marketing of derivatives, binary options included, was prohibited in the country more than a year ago.