Consumers

   ALWAYS

   NEVER

  • Know who you are dealing with!

If you don’t know the person or company who is offering you an investment, check that they hold an authorization. The 'search' function on the websites www.fsma.be and www.nbb.be allows you to check if a provider holds an authorization. If the provider is not on the list, send an email to info@fsma.be, so that the FSMA can conduct a check.
 

  • Be wary if you receive an unsolicited phone call (cold calling)!

Cold calling is where you receive an unsolicited phone call and don't know how the contact person obtained your contact information.
 

  • Ask for information on what you are being offered!

A provider of investment products must give you at least the following information:
 

  • information about the product: most of the time you will receive this in the form of an information sheet, an information brochure or a prospectus;
  • information on the product’s costs and risks;
  • information on the offeror, such as its name, home country, authorization number from the supervisory authority, the name of the supervisory authority.
  • Verify the email address your contact person is using!

Reliable companies rarely use emails ending in 'hotmail.com, gmail.com or yahoo.com'.
 

  • Be sceptical if the person or company contacting you is based abroad or if you are asked to transfer money to a foreign bank account!

Check the identity of these companies using online search engines. You can also contact foreign supervisory authorities, whose coordinates are generally provided on the internet.
 

  • Never respond to an offer of investment or credit made by telephone or email!

If you do not know the provider, hang up immediately. Sellers are often very insistent. Do not get into a discussion. Don’t respond to emails form persons or companies you don’t know, even if they appear to be very attractive.
 

  • Never take a quick investment decision!

The fraudsters often put forward apparently good arguments to persuade you to take a quick decision. But good opportunities for long-term investment will not disappear from one day to the next. Don’t hurry: reflect calmly and do not take hasty decisions.
 

  • Never pay fees that are not clearly explained, requested by persons you don’t know!

Many fraudsters promise attractive returns on condition that you first pay an entry fee or fees whose nature is very unclear. They then disappear without a trace!
 

  • Never accept an offer that seems too good to be true!

Be wary if you are promised excessively high returns or profits!
 

  • Never invest if you do not know precisely what the offer offer made to you entails!

Evaluate the information with a critical attitude. If it seems too good to be true, it usually is!

Be aware of what you are buying and how your money will be used. Be wary if someone tries to sell you complex investments you do not understand.
 

  • Never give out your personal information such as your bank account number, credit card information, date of birth, etc.!

Be wary if you are asked for that information upon the first contact. Always ask why this information is necessary.