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New whisky scam leaves Belgian collectors out of pocket

Credit: Pxhere

Would-be collectors in Belgium have been alerted to a whisky investment scam going, with the message that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

The stock market watchdog FSMA has warned investors of a widespread scam where victims are offered promising investments in whisky through an online platform for buying or selling exclusive bottles.

These companies offer to acquire bottles, agree to then put them in the cellar for you and finally, to find large buyers, in order to generate significant capital gains, explained the FSMA alert. The candidate investors are told the companies “take care of everything”.

“Such investments are too good to be true,” warns the FSMA. “Despite all the promises, investors never recover their money in the end.”

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The websites www.epargne-whisky.com and www.whisky-prestige.com are two such sites.

This scam is the same method used by a wine investment scam in 2019, something which FSMA also issued a warning over. Candidate investors have been asked to consult the warning of May 22, 2019 concerning scams in the area of ​​investment wines.

“Be wary of these companies: they do not have any license and are therefore not allowed to offer investment services in Belgium”, explained the investment watchdog, who also calls on collectors not to be misled by a professional-looking website.

Any potential investors are asked to be wary of promises of unrealistic profits, to always check the identity of the company approaching you (social identity, country of establishment, age of the website). A potential red flag is also being asked to send money to another country unrelated to the country of sale.

A full list of advice can be found here

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times