After receiving several complaints, New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority (FMA) today warned investors against being offered products and services from a clone website called “Securities and Acquisition Conduct Commission,” which tries to usurp the identity of the regulator itself to give the appearance of trustworthiness and legitimacy.
The financial watchdog today updated its warning list by blacklisting www.sacc-govt.org, which claims to be a New Zealand financial services regulator. The FMA said that the clone regulator impersonates the organization in many areas and context.
The SACC’s website is listing a few names of FMA’s brokerage members, many of whom have contacted the agency to inquire about its legitimacy. In addition, the fake financial regulator is endorsing products and services from suspected scams, including a brokerage firm called Nikora Ventures.
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According to the warning, Nikora Ventures claims to be authorized to provide financial services in New Zealand, however, this is not true. Additionally, the FMA is concerned that the firm could be a scam after it received a report saying that Nikora cold-called a New Zealand investor, offering to buy securities at an inflated price and asking for the investor’s bank account details.
Based on this, the FMA warns the public not to invest with both entities and be cautious of dealing with their solicitations.
The FMA is focused on identifying and blacklisting any individual or entity that is operating in New Zealand without a license or authorization, where that is required by law. However, the FMA has warned that some companies are overseas operations and the watchdog may only be alerted to them once a local investor has a problem with them.
The FMA updates the public using warnings and alerts when it believes investors may be at risk. Businesses and individuals are named on this list if they are not registered to provide financial services in New Zealand, have had the FMA enforce action against them for misconduct, have either not responded or not offered a satisfactory response to a request for information, or have received a warning notice from the FMA.