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Beware of Scams: Detective Work!

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Recently HHG has been approached by two individuals, one a client and one not in regard to some fantastic investment opportunities they have been telephoned about by ‘other brokers’. In both cases, the offers were followed up with an email containing details of a very professional website giving the appearance of an established and legitimate organisation. The individual who was not a client let me know that he had sent the ‘broker’ a not insubstantial amount of money to invest and had contacted me on the advice of his bank to check out the credentials of that broker. Sadly, I don’t think he will see that money again.

Neither of the companies concerned were authorised to operate in New Zealand. None of the risks of the investments were explained and on checking their corporate addresses on Google Streetview, what I saw was nothing resembling an office. An additional check of some of the named individuals on the contact page revealed nothing and I would have expected a high flying wealth manager to have at least had a Facebook or Linkedin profile.

Be extremely careful if approached with a cold call from someone you haven’t dealt with before. If an offer is too good to be true, it almost certainly is. Nobody should be offering any sort of investment advice if they are not authorised. You can check this yourself on the Financial Services Providers Register (https://fsp-register.companiesoffice.govt. nz/) where you can enter the name of the company or individual who has approached you. If they are not on there, don’t deal with them.

Interestingly, I too have just received a similar offer from someone apparently in Australia to take part in an initial public offering where I can buy shares for $5 which are going to be listed at $10.

Too good to be true? Of course.

Are they authorised to operate here? Absolutely not.

Hamilton Hindin Greene are authorised and regulated to provide advice, so if approached by someone you don’t know, do speak to us and we will help you establish if they are a genuine organisation. Or obtain some details and double check the register at the link above.

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