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16 Aug 2010, 12:08 pm | Regulator or Authority Impersonation

False DFSA Documents used to Promote an Advance Fee Scam

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) alerts the financial services community and members of the public to an increase in fraudulent activities by people claiming to be associated with, or agents of the DFSA.The DFSA has been notified of recent conduct involving individuals who claim to be working for or as agents of the DFSA. These individuals are using letters that bear the DFSA letterhead.

The reported conduct involves people falsely impersonating companies and offering loans and investments to potential victims. The terms of these fictitious investments are usually quite favourable to the victim and carry the promise of swift finalisation.Having agreed to the terms of the loan or investment, the victim is then told that they need to be registered with the DFSA, or that a fee is required in return for regulatory approval.  The fee may also be called a tender fee.False DFSA letters, bearing the DFSA letterhead are used by the individuals to legitimise the fraudulent activity. These letters also name and assign to the victim a licensed agent of the DFSA. The victim is instructed to deal directly with this licensed agent and to send all payments to the DFSA through these agents.  These false letters also instruct the victim not to contact the DFSA directly.The email details provided for the fictitious licensed agents are usually web based email addresses, such as Yahoo, Gmail or Hotmail.The DFSA informs you that:• the DFSA does not levy any fees in respect of loans or projects;
• the DFSA does not licence or utilise agents; and
• the DFSA does not communicate via private email addresses (eg: Gmail or Hotmail).The DFSA warns the public not to deal with people who charge advanced fees for the provision of services on behalf of the DFSA. In order to prevent any persons from falling victim to such advance fee scams, the DFSA would like to emphasize the following:• When dealing with Firms or Individuals claiming to be authorised by the DFSA, or associated in any way with the DFSA or the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), ensure you check the DFSA’s and the DIFC’s Public Registers to confirm the authenticity of the Firm;  These Public Registers can be found at:
DFSA's PUBLIC REGISTERDIFC's PUBLIC REGISTER• The DFSA does not charge any fees to the clients of an Authorised Firm or Individual.  The DFSA, therefore, strongly advises you to be wary of Firms who claim to be charging fees which are payable to the DFSA ; and• The DFSA does not approve transactions made by Authorised Firms or Individuals on behalf of clients.  If you receive a DFSA letter advising you that a transaction needs to be approved by the DFSA and/or advising you to transfer a sum of money to a third party to facilitate an approval, then do not respond to the communication.  Report the incident directly to the DFSA using the DFSA Complaints function on: COMPLAINTS If you have concerns as to the bona fides of a letter you have received bearing the DFSA letterhead, you can direct your concerns to the DFSA using the Complaints portal referred to above.

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