The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is calling on the public to be extremely vigilant regarding automated Forex trading offers from entities that are not authorised to provide investment services in France. These offers also rely on affiliate programs and particularly target the French overseas departments and territories.
In recent months, the AMF has received several complaints from retail investors and institutions based in the French overseas departments and territories about fraudulent offers to invest in the Forex market, the Foreign exchange market for the trading of currencies, through an automated software and a purported partner trading platform that does not have the required authorisation. These proposals are spread in videos across social media and presented during in-person promotional conferences, in meetings rooms rented for the event, or via closed messaging groups.
Several offers with very similar sales pitches promise unrealistic rates of return (“5% to 15% per month”, “up to 400% per year”) obtained through an “automatic trading robot” that requires a monthly or annual subscription of up to several hundred or thousands of euros. Interested investors are invited to open an account with a broker designated as an exclusive partner. The broker is not authorised to offer this type of service to the French public. Deposits and withdrawals are made only in crypto-assets.
Rather than withdrawing their potential earnings prematurely, which would incur fees, retail investors are encouraged to generate affiliate income by recruiting new subscribers. They are promised bonuses or commissions at various levels, in a similar way to multi-level marketing (MLM) structures, whose aggressive practices in the sale of trading training packs were exposed by the AMF in June 2020. Both schemes use the same keywords, such as “financial freedom” and “passive income”.
The AMF stresses that only companies authorised as investment services providers in Europe are allowed to offer brokerage services such as automated or non-automated Forex trading.
The AMF has taken several measures to put a stop to the activities of these unauthorised entities.
According to a statement released by the AMF, the AMF reminds the general public of due diligence rules that must be applied before making any investments:
- Be wary of unrealistic promises from trading websites that guarantee quick profits.
- Avoid the Forex market, the unregulated market for the trading of currencies, where the risks of a loss of capital exceeding the sum invested are very high (if you are not an experienced investor).
- Check that the company is authorised to offer financial services and is not on one of the AMF blacklists “
Stay safe and do not hesitate to contact us if you have been scammed !