Email Scam Awareness

Avoid scams
and unauthorised firms

Firms and individuals can only conduct regulated financial services activities in the Isle of Man if they are licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority, and likewise in other regulated jurisdictions investment companies must be regulated by their respective regulatory authority.

Yet some act without any licence, authorisation or knowingly run scams.

At the Capital International Group we will not make unsolicited contact either via email, letter or telephone.

8 steps to avoid
unauthorised firms

Step 1:
Reject cold calls

If you’ve been cold called about an investment opportunity, chances are it’s a high risk investment or a scam. You should treat the call with extreme caution. The safest thing to do is to hang up. Cold calling in the ISle of Man is now against the law.

Step 2:
Stop sending money

If you think you have been scammed you should stop sending money to the firm and individuals involved straight away. If you have given them your bank account details, tell your bank immediately.

Step 3:
Check if a firm is authorised
or registered

Almost all financial services firms and individuals must be licensed by a regulatory body. But certain types of firms may instead be registered, including some payment services providers and electronic money (e-money) institutions, mutual societies like credit unions, friendly societies, cooperative societies, working men’s clubs and building societies. Check with the associated regulatory body to see if a firm or individual is authorised.

Step 4:
Beware of cloned firms

Beware of fraudsters pretending to be from a firm authorised by a regulator, as it could be what is call a ‘cloned firm’. These scammers often claim to be from overseas firms that appear on the Register as these firms do not always have their full contact and website details listed. Always ask who their regulator is and what their registration number is.

Step 5:
Make additional checks

With fraudsters adapting their tactics you should make additional checks to confirm you are dealing with the financial services firm in question and have the correct contact details – especially if you have been cold-called. You might want to check the details on the firm’s website, with directory enquiries or Companies House.

Step 6:
See warnings from abroad

If you are dealing with an overseas firm or scheme you should check how it is regulated and follow similar steps to these. Isle of Man and UK regulators also receive warnings from foreign regulators about firms conducting unauthorised business.

Step 7:
Report an unauthorised firm

If you think you have been approached by an unauthorised firm contact the regulator in your jurisdiction. Tell them about the unauthorised firm or broker that approached you and the business areas they were talking about, such as consumer credit, mortgages, insurance products, payment services, pensions and share fraud.

Step 8:
Beware of further scams

If you have lost money to a scam, fraudsters may try to take advantage of the fact that you want to recover your money and might offer to help you get some or all of it back.
You may be contacted by a new individual or group, as it is likely your name and details appear on a list their group and others are using to target people.

You may be:
– reassured that your original investment is genuine and encouraged not to pull out of the deal
– threatened with legal action if you stop sending money, or if you ask for your money back
– told you can swap your investment for another deal, with a transfer fee involved, or asked to pay a capital gains tax bill before the large profit you were promised can be released to you, even if it does not exist
– told the firm will buy back the shares or investment that you have lost money on
– told by the scammers that they know you have been a victim of fraud and offer to recover your money for you
– asked for your bank account details so they can pay the recovered money into it – instead of getting your money back, the fraudsters may try to empty your bank account

Integrity is a core value