Police are currently investigating reports of a fraudulent investment company that is said to be based in the Cayman Islands. This company is reported to have been particularly targeting investors in New Zealand. The FCU is aware of several persons who have lost money to this scam, one of whom suffered a loss of USD $20,000. While the fraudulent investment company claims to be based in the Cayman Islands,
The RCIPS would like to warn persons who are considering investing money in Cayman Islands based companies to do proper research of the company of choice, to ensure their legitimacy.
The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) regularly publishes notices regarding companies that are not registered or licenced to trade in the Cayman Islands that have been found to use websites with Cayman addresses. This is one area that can be used when researching investments using online platforms.
Below are some tips to consider when investing in overseas businesses:
When it comes to making any investments, be cautious and conduct your own diligence checks.
1. Use the internet to research the company’s address and other unique identifiers. Such research may also reveal other defrauded investors.
2. Be suspicious of companies that filter telephone enquiries by answer phone. Ensure that you are able to talk to someone when you make a telephone enquiry rather than receive a call back. Record any telephone numbers you receive investment calls from.
3. If practicable, always insist on meeting representatives of investment companies in person before investing funds.
If funds are transferred to a fraudulent account, it is important to act quickly:
1. Contact your financial institution immediately upon discovering the scam.
2. Request that your financial institution contact the corresponding financial institution where the transfer was sent.
3. You are encouraged to keep all original documentations, emails, faxes and logs of communications.
Because scams and fraudulent websites can emerge and change very quickly, individuals are encouraged to report any suspicions of possible internet scams by filing a complaint with the Financial Crimes Unit at 949-8797, regardless of whether a loss is suffered.
(This article has been updated to clarify that the investment company is not based in the Cayman Islands).