Less than two months into the new year, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) has already issued several warnings about potential scam artists.
Criminals are becoming more sophisticated and we need to take extra care before handing over our hard-earned cash.
BLUE ALPHA ALLIANCE GROUP
The FSCA received information that there is a person soliciting funds from people, purporting to act for a company named the Blue Alpha Alliance Group. Blue Alpha Alliance Group offers share investments in the “Uber and Taxify business”.
The group is using the name and logo of a legitimate financial service provider, Blue Alpha Investment Management (Pty) Ltd FSP 118. Blue Alpha Investment Management is in no way associated with Blue Alpha Alliance Group.
It is the FSCA’s view that the above-mentioned entity is an unregistered business providing advisory and intermediary services without the necessary authorisation.
Financial Services Board impersonators
A company called Western Loan Finance is falsely using the name and brand of the now defunct Financial Services Board (FSB) to defraud members of the public by offering them opportunities to receive financial loans.
According to the information received by the FSCA, the above-mentioned company uses the “FSB” name in a deceitful manner to offer loans and request an enclosure fee in order to release the loan. It is the FSCA’s view that this company and all individuals linked to it are conducting an unregistered business. They are in breach of various financial sector laws, including the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (FAIS Act).
The FSB ceased to exist as the market regulator and was replaced by the FSCA on April 1 2018. No correspondence under the FSB brand has been sent out since then. Members of the public who have received such correspondence from this counterfeit “FSB” company should inform the FSCA immediately.
It was brought to the FSCA’s attention that Tradefarm claims to be an authorised financial services provider (FSP), taking funds from the members of the public to invest on their behalf.
This constitutes a financial services business as defined by the FAIS Act. According to the FSCA’s records, Tradefarm is neither an authorised FSP nor a representative of an authorised FSP.
There is no record of an application from the company to become an authorised FSP with the FSCA. Therefore, Tradefarm is in breach of the financial sector laws and consumers should not do any financial services business with this entity.
The FSCA received information that a man only known as Sethole is encouraging members of the public to invest in a binary options strategy with Nadex Investments and promises high returns within 48 hours.
He alleges that Nadex Investments is a subsidiary of AIP Capital Management (Pty) Ltd, an authorised FSP – with FSP number (48828).
AIP Capital Management have confirmed that it does not own any subsidiaries and has no relationship with Nadex Investments or Sethole.
Members of the public should always check if an entity or individual are registered with the FSCA to provide financial advisory and intermediary services. If they are, check what category of advice the entity is registered to provide. Some people are only registered to provide basic advisory services for a low risk product and then they offer services of a far more complex and risky nature.
Customers who wish to conduct financial services with an institution or person are reminded to check with the FSCA. You can do this by phoning the toll free number (0800 20 3722 443) or online on https://www.fsca.co.za/Fais/Search_FSP.htm. If they are authorised to do this their information will be on the database.