Property Scammers Scoop £1m From Duped Investors

Consumer watchdogs have wound up a company run by fraudsters offering investors more than a 50% return on land investments.

Hermay Ltd promised investors they would see a 51.5% profit on their money in a year.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says 25 investors parted with £880,000 cash only to find the sales people were telling lies about the investment.

“The investors are unlikely to see the return of their money,” said an FCA spokesman. “In these cases, the cash quickly disappears overseas and is hard to track down.”

The investors cannot turn to the Financial Services Compensation scheme (FSCS) as Hermay was not authorised to give investment advice by the FCA and any cash handed over by duped investors is not protected.

Frozen assets

“The investigation is still ongoing and liquidators will contract the investors at some stage to discuss their financial situation,” said the FCA spokesman. “However, we have successfully applied to the High Court to wind up this company as the trading activities were not in the public interest.”

The FCA has also frozen the assets of another scam property investment firm, Brookbourne Trading.

“This company was accepting money without authorisation from us,” said the FCA spokesman. “We believe around six investors have paid £200,000 into the firm.

“In a separate High Court application, the bank account was frozen and an injunction was made forbidding the company to take any more deposits.

Brookbourne Trading is also outside the protection of the FSCS.

Warnings about bogus advisers – Worldwide

Here are the latest rogue financial firm warnings on the International Organisation of Securities Commissions web site:

  • MoneyVane AG – Switzerland
  • Maine Transfers – Switzerland
  • Digital Bet Services Spain SL – Spain
  • Noticias Economicas Y Financieras Siglo XXI SL – Spain
  • Igetmania – Spain
  • First International Traders Dom Maklerski SA – Poland
  • pl Sp z oo – Poland
  • SKG Finance AG – Switzerland
  • T-Mobile Polska SA – Poland
  • Tax Strategies United Tax Strategies – Spain
  • Stock Manager Worldwide IB SL – Spain
  • Runshine Invesment Services Europe SL – Spain
  • Ethika Global Consulting, SLU – Spain
  • Aston Markets (Aston Forex) – Spain
  • Eco Money Broker – Canada
  • com – Poland
  • LewInvest – Poland

Warnings about bogus advisers – UK

Here are the latest bogus financial advisers listed on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) web site:

  • UBS Global Asset Management Funds Ltd (Clone web site)
  • Oakwood Financial Management LLP (Clone web site)
  • Hermay Limited
  • LoanAxess Limited
  • Brookbourne Trading Limited
  • Atticus Holdings International (Clone web site)

Dealing with an unregulated firm

If you buy shares, save money or invest with an unregulated firm, you lose any protection offered by the Financial Ombudsman and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Broadly, you have no independent place to complain if the deal goes wrong and are unlikely to win any compensation.

Checking if a firm is regulated

Go to the Financial Services Register to check if a firm is regulated in the UK.

Reporting a suspected bogus adviser

Below is a list of some related articles, guides and insights that you may find of interest.

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