Mobile phones and documentation seized as part of investigations into illegal financial advice

Mobile phones and documentation seized as part of investigations into illegal financial advice
A generic stock photo of a Garda in Dublin.

Mobile phones and documentation have been seized in Dublin as part of investigations into illegal financial advice.

Gardaí said in a statement that detectives from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau and Tallaght Garda Station conducted searches of two premises in relation “to an ongoing investigation into breaches of Regulations under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive 2017.” 

They said that the investigation relates to “an entity that uses social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to promote and advise persons to invest in Forex trading, promising easy and high returns”.

They said that the entity is not authorised by the Central Bank.

Gardaí explained: “The promoter or influencers, use social media platforms to make trading recommendations called signals, to individuals as to when to buy or sell financial instruments such as currency using Forex traders.

“These influencers usually have a limited understanding of the Forex trading market.

“Individuals and firms that offer investment advice in certain Forex trading require authorisation by the Central Bank or other regulatory bodies if based outside Ireland.” 

People are being warned to follow official advice, and to ensure firms are legitimate by checking the Central Bank register.

Gardaí have highlighted some warning signs for the public to be aware of for illegitimate firms:

The firm will claim to offer easy/quick money and high returns via social media 

The subscription process is quick and easy 

The firms tend not to list a physical address/registered company address or contact telephone number Communication tends to be solely through online methods, social media and mobile app 

The firm will NOT be authorised by the Central Bank When the victim seeks to withdraw money from their account or close their account this can be met with a refusal and the firm can disappear without notice and re-emerge under a new name.

Members of the public are advised to follow Central Bank advice and to take the SAFE test before making any financial decisions or providing any personal information:

S – Stop:  Stop, think and ask yourself – What? Who? Why? Do I feel rushed to act?                           

A – Assess: Make sure the firm is legitimate. Check the  Central Bank registers to see if the firm is authorised.

F – Fact-check:  Seek advice to ensure service or product is genuine.

E – Expose and report: If you have any concerns that a firm is not genuine or is not authorised you can make a report to your local Garda station and/or to the Central Bank either through its website or by phoning +353 (0)1 224 4000.

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