Belgium’s FSMA exposes scammers impersonating its staff

abdelaziz Fathi

Belgium’s financial watchdog, the Financial Services and Markets Authority ‎‎(FSMA), has issued a warning to the public regarding a concerning trend of fraudsters attempting to deceive investors by posing as its official employees.

The regulator has detected an upsurge in fraudulent activities where scammers falsely claim association with the FSMA, advising to remain vigilant and verify the authenticity of any communication. The impersonators employ various tactics, such as fraudulent emails, phone calls, and even in-person encounters, to deceive unsuspecting individuals into providing sensitive personal information or making financial transactions.

These imposters, attempting to usurp the identity of the FSMA, have been employing various email addresses, namely [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected]. The FSMA emphasizes that any emails originating from these addresses are fraudulent and should be promptly deleted without responding.

The FSMA has unequivocally stated that its employees will never ask for sensitive personal information, such as passwords or bank details, nor will they request immediate payments or investments. The regulator has urged the public to verify the legitimacy of any communication claiming to be from the FSMA by independently contacting the regulator through official channels.

The FSMA also explains that it doesn’t act as a financial institution or provide any financial services to consumers. Furthermore, financial supervisors such as the FSMA are not authorized to recover lost investments, and they would never initiate contact with victims of investment fraud.

“They would thus never contact victims of investment fraud. Lastly, the FSMA wishes to emphasize that it never asks consumers to provide their financial information or to pay for any services. If you have the least doubt, please do not hesitate to contact the FSMA directly via the consumer contact form,” the regulator wrote.

FSMA operates as a watchdog for financial trading, securities and markets in Belgium, overseeing a variety of assets and compliance issues for traders and consumers. Today’s warning is the latest initiative in its efforts to clamp down on companies engaging in fraudulent activities.

The agency also managed to catch up in the last few months, bringing standalone actions against cryptocurrency operators. This represents the FSMA‎’s latest effort to police the rampant internet-based ‎cryptocurrency schemes, which operate into a zone that the ‎watchdog regulates.

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