Financial watchdog warns of new appearance of old type of fraud
Share article:
Share article:

Financial watchdog warns of new appearance of old type of fraud

Stock photo. © Unsplash

The financial industry regulator Financial Services and Markets Authority, has issued a warning about an upsurge in a form of financial fraud consumers may fall victim to, known as boiler room fraud.

A boiler room usually refers to a call centre that cold-calls victims offering financial products of questionable legality. The term comes from the way such centres are usually organised, with a maximum of callers at desks arranged in rows in a small space.

The cold-callers use high-pressure sales techniques, as well as outright lies, to persuade victims to invest in a variety of products, from bonds to penny shares to an interest in French wine.

The products themselves are typically worthless, but if victims buy them, that can increase the value, helping convince the victim they have made a good investment – until the bubble bursts and the products become worthless again.

In the latest manifestation, the sellers are pushing shares in three companies: Bruckhaus Quist, Daltium en EMW Capital.

The above companies are not authorized to provide investment services in Belgium,” the FSMA warns on its website. “The FSMA therefore strongly advises against responding to any offer of financial services made by the companies listed above and against transferring money to any account number they might mention.”

Related News


The authority warns against any offer that comes from cold-calling, and offers some more advice:

Be wary of unsolicited phone calls/emails (cold calling), that is, where no prior request has been made by the investor. Such calls are often indications of an attempt at fraud.

Be wary of requests to transfer money to a country without any connection to the company or to the state of which the investor is resident. Please note that in the case of boiler room fraud, requests to transfer money are made most often toward accounts opened with banks based in Asia.

Be wary of (promises of) completely disproportionate returns. Fraudsters frequently present significant earnings at the beginning, until the day when the investor asks to withdraw the funds invested.

Do not accept uncritically the information provided by such companies. It is not uncommon for a company to claim to be authorized to offer financial services although this is not the case. Be sure always to verify the information you are given.

Be wary as well of ‘cloned firms’: companies that pass themselves off as different, lawful companies even though they in fact have no connection with the latter. A close look at the email addresses or contact details for the companies in question may prove useful in order to detect potential fraud of this sort.

Ask your intermediary for clear and comprehensible information. Never invest if you do not understand precisely what is being offered.

Be all the more suspicious if the payout of returns is conditional on an additional payment and/or the payment of a tax. These additional demands are often the sign of fraud.”

The FSMA website offers a search function to allow checking of any company mentioned in the cold call. If in doubt, contact the authority directly.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

More politicians than ordinary citizens at the Conference on the Future of Europe
The second Plenary of the Conference took place on Saturday in the European Parliament in Strasbourg and discussed the contributions from the ...
Belgium’s Consultative Committee to meet on Tuesday
The next meeting of Belgium's Consultative Committee, scheduled for Friday, has been brought forward to Tuesday at 4:30 PM, according to local media ...
Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Unilever are world’s biggest plastic polluters
Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Unilever were found to be the world's biggest polluters of plastic in a report published by Branded on Monday. Over 11,000 ...
Four men charged with illegally buying thousands of live ducks to hunt on private land
Four Belgian men will appear in court on Monday facing charges related to the purchase of thousands of ducks, which were then released into a private ...
More wolf attacks: 15 deer killed at family resort over the weekend
Fifteen deer were killed by wolves in the Belgian province of Limburg this weekend, between Saturday night and Sunday morning. The deer were ...
Cost of breast cancer still too high for many patients
Breast cancer still carries too high a cost for patients when one in nine women in Belgium will face the disease before reaching 75, according to a ...
Gare Maritime: Brussels’ most exciting new architectural project
A generation ago, the Gare Maritime in the Tour & Taxis industrial site was an abandoned wasteland. It is now a model for urban renewal and ...
Belgium in Brief: Rules For A Fourth Wave
It's the news that nobody wants to hear, but here we go again. Belgium’s council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss ...
Belgian grandparents to walk across Scotland for COP26
A group of Belgian grandparents has set off on a 100 km hike that will take them from Belgium to the Scottish city of Glasgow, just ahead of the ...
Rise in fuel prices will bring Belgian State €547 million in tax, say Workers Party
The sharp rise in fuel prices that have been felt across the continent will bring an additional €547 million to the Belgian State, the Workers' Party ...
Amid backlash, Brussels police chief promises to do better for sexual assault victims
After multiple rallies against sexual violence took place in Brussels last week, with victims offering testimony of poor treatment from police when ...
Person hit by train in Brussels
A person was hit by a train in the tunnel between Brussels North and Brussels Central at around 10:20 AM on Monday, railway network manager Infrabel ...