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Expert Data and Option Pros

25 sep 2015 Waarschuwing van een buitenlandse toezichthouder

The Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) warns the public against the activities of Expert Data, a company that offers assistance in recovering funds, and Option Pros, a company pretending to act for Expert Data and which is offering highly risky investment instruments in Belgium without complying with Belgian financial legislation.

Expert Data, which claims to have its registered office in Belgium (Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 2-6, 1000 Brussels), contacts people who have previously been victims of investment fraud, claiming to be able to help them recover the sums they invested in the past.

This practice is typical of “recovery room” fraud, a fraud mechanism about which the FSMA published a warning on 16 March 2015. Experience shows that the fees charged with a view to recovering one’s investment never make it possible to get back the money invested, and the fees paid for the purpose are thus lost as well.

According to information in the FSMA’s possession, persons who have been contacted by Expert Data had previously invested in the following unauthorized firms: Obmarkets, Xpmarkets, Bank of Market, Time Binary and Insta-Trading, companies about which the FSMA has already published warnings.

The FSMA therefore strongly advises against responding to any offers of services made by Expert Data and against transferring money to any account number it might mention.

Expert Data uses the website www.expertdata.fr (offline).

Moreover, one of the consumers contacted in this regard was approached by Option Pros, a company claiming to be “Expert Data’s partner for administrative procedures”.

According to the latter’s website (www.option-pros.com), Option Pros also offers would-be investors investments in binary options.

However, the above offer is made without complying with Belgian financial legislation.

Option Pros is not an authorized investment firm or credit institution in Belgium. They are therefore not allowed to provide banking and/or investment services in or from Belgium.

Option Pros has not published a prospectus approved by the FSMA, as is required before any public offering of investment instruments may be made within the territory of Belgium.

Furthermore, certain investment instruments that this company offers, i.e. binary options, are speculative and involve significant risks, with the investor in such products running the risk of losing the entire amount invested. The FSMA already published a warning in May 2014 about the risks associated with binary options.

The FSMA therefore strongly advises against responding to any offers of financial services or to any public offers of investment instruments made by Option Pros and against transferring money to any account number it might mention.

The FSMA recommends vigilance with regard to companies such as this one which offer binary options or other risky investment instruments as well as with regard to persons who offer recovery services. Always verify that any company which is offering you financial services has the requisite authorization. For more recommendations, please consult the general warning published by the FSMA on 25 September 2015 on its website.

If you wish to check in general whether a proposed transaction complies with the financial regulations, please use the search function (available in Dutch and French only) on the website of the FSMA. You can also contact the FSMA (email address: info@fsma.be).

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