Offers of investment in precious metals and “ecoparkings”: be vigilant


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Published
Jun 28th '24
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The Belgian public is once again being approached by companies offering so-called investments in various assets. Belgian consumers have recently been contacted to invest in precious metals or in the deployment of a network of charging stations for electric cars (“ecoparking”). These offers have been made with the promise of very high returns. Remain vigilant, however, because swindlers often lie behind these tempting offers. They do not even hesitate to take on the identity of major players of the energy industry!

 

Victims reported to the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) that they had received investment offers in precious metals (with no physical delivery involved) as well as in ecoparking. These offers are presented as an alternative to traditional savings products, with promises of very high yields. Behind these tempting offers, however, often lie crooks who do not possess the required authorizations and whose sole aim is to steal your savings.

 

Scam victims are often contacted by phone and email. Most of the time, the contacts follow on advertisements that appear on the internet, and in particular on social media and fake news sites.

 

Always remain vigilant when physical goods are offered in the form of instruments that make possible a financial investment. These alternative investment products may fall within the scope of the financial legislation that the FSMA is tasked with enforcing. They may thus not be offered to the public under just any conditions!

 

In the course of the past few weeks, the FSMA has received reports about

 

  • fyamcapital.com: the fraudsters used the following email addresses: penelope.mary@fyamcapital.com ; finance@fyamcapital.com  and elsa.mercier@fyamcapital.com
  • monacces.shellrecharges.euthe fraudsters used the following email address: serviceclient@shellrecharges.com
  • plenitudeeurope.comthe fraudsters used the following email addresses:  eni@plenitudeeurope.com and enisouscription@plenitude-europe.com.

 

The above companies are not authorized to provide investment services in Belgium.

 

Take note: the scammers behind the websites Plenitudeeurope.com and Shellrecharges.eu take on the identity of, respectively, Eni and Shell, two major players of the energy sector.

 

The FSMA thus strongly advises against responding to any offers of financial service made by the companies listed above and against transferring money to any bank account number they might mention.

 

In order to avoid fraud, the FSMA makes the following recommendations to investors:

  • always check the identity of the company (company name, home country, registered office, etc.). If the company cannot be clearly identified, it should not be trusted.
  • always verify if the company in question has the requisite authorization. To this end, an easy search on the FSMA’s website will do. Take note! Always beware of ‘cloned firms’: companies that pass themselves off as different, lawful companies even though they have no connection with them. A close look at the email addresses or contact details for the companies in question may prove useful in order to detect this type of fraud and prevent it.

 

More than ever, prudence is necessary. In case of any doubt, and before making any (more) payments, do not hesitate to contact the FSMA using the consumer contact form. As well, please feel free to notify it of any contact you may have had with a suspicious company that has not yet been the subject of a warning by the FSMA.

 

If you have been a victim of investment fraud, the FSMA advises you to file a complaint with the local police or with the judicial authorities.

 

Source: FSMA

 

About FSMA

FSMA strives to ensure the honest and equitable treatment of financial consumers and the integrity of the financial markets. The FSMA, alongside the National Bank of Belgium (NBB), supervises the Belgian financial sector.

 

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