Security of services
What are the identifying characteristics of fraud?
It pays to be particularly careful when considering the acquisition of services and investment products from a service provider which you do not know and contacts you by phone. If an offer seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
Care should be taken at least in the following cases:
- The service provider contacts you by phone from outside the EU area. A typical form of criminal activity is that the service provider, the investment object (e.g. shares) and the address for making the payment are all located in different countries.
- The service provider is in an unreasonable hurry.
- The decision must be made immediately or the offer becomes void.
- Payment is required in advance.
- The payment is addressed to an entity other than the service provider and may be addressed to a third country.
- No contract or other written material is available.
- High returns are promised within a short period of time and without risk.
- The offer is individual and must be kept secret.
- The investment product is one you do not know.
Always request some time to think so that you can investigate the background details of a suspect offer.
What should you check before making a decision?
- Does the service provider really exist? The internet provides opportunities to use false names and create false identities and websites for companies. Even known service providers’ business names and products have been used for the false purposes. The authenticity and reliability of a service provider can be verified with the aid of contact details, industry organisations, and the authorities.
- Who manages the company? What is its ownership structure and history?
- Does the activity require authorisation? Does the service provider have an authorisation? The authorisation or registration of a service provider can be checked in the FIN-FSA’s lists of supervised entities and notifications.
- Is the activity supervised? Which authority supervises the service provider, i.e. what is the local supervisory authority?
Where can I find warnings about fraudsters?
- Warnings concerning unauthorised service providers
- Warnings concerning the prospectus requirement and securities offerings
- Prohibitions concerning insurance brokerage
- Warnings from foreign supervisory authorities
Key tips to protect yourself when choosing online or mobile banking services
See EBA's tips (pdf)