A major Australian regulator has warned traders away from trading with several businesses which it claims could be running scam operations.
ASIC, which stands for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, has listed the five warnings on its website.
The list operates as a way of warning potential customers which firms are not authorised to operate in Australia.
It also flags up which firms make unsolicited approaches to potential customers – which is considered by some legitimate businesses to be unethical.
In a stark message posted on its site, ASIC makes it clear what it thinks of the businesses listed.
“ASIC advises this company could be involved in a scam. Do not deal with this business as it is unlicensed in Australia”, it writes.
“The business listed below has made unsolicited calls or sent emails about investing, financial advice, credit or loans and does not hold a current Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence or an Australian Credit licence from ASIC”, it adds.
The full list begins with Advanced Financial Union Ltd., Tube Global Marketing, which is also referred to as MGM Markets, and sm-advisors.com. Also on the list are All Media EOOD, which additionally goes by the name of Brokerz Limited, and Alpha Financial Group.
In a sign of the sophisticated nature of many alleged forex scams and crypto fraud, some of the websites the regulator has warned against offer well-written, well-designed websites which even to an experienced trader’s eye could be considered legitimate at first glance.
Brokerz, for example, promises all sorts of benefits to those who sign up and trade on it. It says it will provide “your own private trading school, learn how to be a professional trader with our new tool kit”. It will also “offer you a variety of different and thorough tutorials, whether you’re an advanced trader or just a beginner.” There are four different account types available to choose from, each of which is associated with an image of some sort of luxury lifestyle, such as cards, phones and high-end clothes. It claims to provide MetaTrader 4, a widely accepted and respected industry tool.
Along the bottom of its homepage, it has published the logos of a wide range of major international financial organisations, including HSBC, VISA and Barclays – all of which serves to enhance the feeling of legitimacy.
The warning from ASIC also hinted that two of the firms on the list could be copycat organisations attempting to benefit from the positive reputations of other organisations.
If this is true, they would be best described as “clone firms” or organisations which imitate a more successful firm in some way.
Sm-advisors is one of them and is believed to resemble a Hong Kong-based organisation.
Tube Global Marketing is also flagged by ASIC for this reason as it is also known by the name MGM Markets. It is understood that another, more legitimate MGM Markets operates in Australia, and that the two firms are not connected.