The Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) warns the public against the activities of persons who present themselves to victims of investment fraud offering to help them recover the sums invested.
These persons, who present themselves under various pseudonyms and/or in different capacities (lawyers, financial analysts, accountants, financial advisors, etc.), approach investors who have been victims of fraud, usually by telephone, stating that they can, for a fee, help them recover the sums invested or losses incurred on unauthorized trading platforms (forex or binary options).
More generally, this type of activity is typical of the fraud mechanism known as
a "recovery room". The practice consists of contacting victims of an earlier fraud, unsolicited and often by telephone, to offer assistance in recovering the losses incurred. The services offered will then vary: an offer to help recover the sums invested, to restore the invested amounts on condition that a certain sum be paid or an account opened on a trading platform, etc. In any event, demanding that a financial payment be made before the service has been rendered is a clear indication of a “recovery room”. The fraud may be perpetrated either by the original fraudster or by other persons who have obtained a list of victims. In reality, any consumer who has been victim of an unauthorized trading platform or of investment fraud in general should be aware that fraudsters may try to target them again or sell their data.
In a considerable number of cases, these persons steal the identity of persons/companies that do in fact exist (a lawyer, a registered company, etc.), or claim to be acting under a mandate from or at least with the consent of one or other supervisory authority. Identity theft is a common feature of the type of fraud known as "cloned firms": scammers use the identity of an existing person or company in order to give the appearance of trustworthiness or legitimacy, and thereby to persuade investors.
The FSMA strongly advises against responding to any unsolicited offer of services claiming to recover losses incurred through fraud, and against transferring money to any account number the persons making such offers might mention.
Here are a few testimonies of victims of "recovery room" fraud:
If you wish to check in general whether a proposed transaction complies with the financial regulations, please use the search function (available in Dutch and French only) on the website of the FSMA. You can also contact the FSMA (email address: firstname.lastname@example.org).