Belgium’s financial watchdog (the FSMA) has issued a warning against the unauthorized activities of multiple boiler and recovery rooms that are offering investments in the country without complying with Belgian financial legislation.
FSMA operates as a watchdog for financial trading, securities and markets in Belgium, overseeing a variety of assets and compliance issues for traders and consumers. Today’s warning is the latest initiative in its efforts to clamp down on companies engaging in fraudulent activities.
The latest additions include:
- Aichi BMO International (ABMOI) / Leiyu Trade Limited / GHY Partners Limited
- Apex Alliance
- Citic Tokyo International / Bai Xin Cheng Limited / Jin Yam (HK) Trade Co., Limited
- Drukenmiller Investment Services / Timmermans Asia Ltd / Hansen Peters Ltd / Sarandon Asia Ltd
- Lexus Group / MCA Advisors / Raeat Holdings Limited
- Sino Link Japan / Mypal International Co, Limited / Bai Xin Cheng Limited
- West Pacific Dealers
The list includes companies and associations that approach victims of investment fraud claiming that, for a fee, they can help them recover the sums invested and/or the losses incurred from unlawfully operating trading platforms.
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This type of activity is typical of the fraud mechanism known as a recovery room.
Cloned firms and boiler rooms
Some of these are cloned firms, a common type of fraud in which a firm usurps the identity of an existing authorized entity in order to give the appearance of trustworthiness and legitimacy, thereby convincing investors of its legitimacy.
The Belgian watchdog defines boiler rooms as a type of fraud that involves contacting customers unsolicited, often by telephone, offering to sell them little-known shares or exotic financial products. Although the boiler rooms often claim to be authorized service providers with professional websites and forms to fill out, they are in reality swindlers that offer fictitious or worthless shares or products.
The aforementioned companies are not authorized investment firms in Belgium. They are therefore not allowed to provide investment services in or from within the country.
Based on this, the FSMA strongly advises against responding to any offers of financial or recovery services made by the companies listed above and against transferring money to any account number they might mention.