The financial regulatory agency in Belgium, the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA), has today published a statement, warning residents of the country to be wary of scams hiding as online trading platforms.
Specifically, the regulator has flagged a number of new entities which are unlawfully offering binary options, foreign exchange (forex) products and/or contracts for difference (CFD) on the Belgian market. According to the warning, residents who invested in the following platforms never regained their money, so they are most likely a scam.
- 365 Markets (Trustnet Ltd) (www.365markets.com)
- CFDS100.com (Trsystem Limited) (www.cfds100.com)
- FXG Trade (Capital FXG Ltd / Nordic Pearl Ltd) (www.fxgtrade.com)
- HybridReserve (Singlebell LTD / SingleBell OU) (www.hybridreserve.com)
- PBN Capital (Capital Tech Ltd / Pbox Ltd) (www.pbncapital.com)
According to the FSMA: “Any company wishing to offer investment products must hold an authorization. Furthermore, since 18 August 2016, no investment firm (authorized or not) is permitted to distribute actively, within the territory of Belgium, binary options, certain forex products or CFDs. The companies that are the subject of this warning do not comply with the aforementioned rules.”
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FSMA Urgers Consumers to do their Due Diligence
The Belgian regulator reminds investors that investment scams can be commonly found in the binary options, forex, and CFD sector. Cryptocurrency scams are also becoming increasingly popular, buoyed by a lack of harmonized regulation in the space.
One of the easiest ways to tell if a firm is legitimate or not is to check with your local regulator to see if they are registered and authorized to provide their services in the country you reside in. For the FSMA, you can search here.
However, searching alone is not enough, as there are also many clone firms which copy the name, address, registration details and more in order to appear legitimate. To this end, the Belgian watchdog also advises consumers to check for warnings against the company, check that it’s details are correct and be wary of unsolicited contact.