Belgium’s financial watchdog, the Financial Services and Markets Authority (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.
The FSMA oversees financial trading, securities, 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 are:
- Ashida Associates (www.ashidaassociates.com)
- Sapporo International (www.sapporointernational.com)
- Tokai National Partners (www.tnpsecurities.com)
These companies and associations 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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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 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.