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FMA warns about dubious and fraudulent providers of financial services that are only pretending to be regulated and supervised

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The Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) warns about the increasingly frequent occurrence of dubious and fraudulent providers of financial services pretending to be registered or licenced undertakings subject to supervision by a supervisory authority. For example they clone the identity of registered or licenced entities and the refer to their registration in publicly accessible databases held by authorities. Alternatively, they invent a supervisory authority, for which they set up a separate database with registration documents that seem incredibly realistic, but which are falsified, to which they refer interested parties.

How you can protect yourself: FMA Website and FMA Security App

Check the authorisation of a undertaking very carefully, in particular about what financial activities the undertaking is allowed to perform. Compare and check the contact details given with those contained in the register held by the authority. Check whether the authority mentioned really exists, and whether it actually is competent for such matters. For providers with a connection to Austria, check on the FMA website (, whether the providers really do appear in our Company Database or whether as applicable an investor warning has already been published. You can also download the FMA Security App onto your smartphone for free, and then also have access to the FMA Company Database via your smartphone and receive all FMA warnings straightaway to your phone (

Also, do not be afraid to contact the supervisory authority in question directly – independently of the provider and their website. Never conclude financial transactions if the provider has contacted you in an unsolicited manner by phone, fax or e-mail; this activity – known as “cold calling” is prohibited by law in Austria and is a certain warning sign for fraudulent intentions.

Current investor warnings

In this regard, the FMA refers you to the following investor warnings that it has issued in recent months in relation to ““, ““, “” as well as the dubious provider “Gerber and Partners“, which refers to a made-up Austrian supervisory authority “FINSA”.

“Clone Firms” or “Clone Individuals”

A popular fraudulent method is to use clones of registered or licenced undertakings. The company name and register data of companies that actually exist and that are authorised to conduct business in an orderly fashion are misused, in order to gain the confidence of potential victims. In actual fact, the clone is in no way associated with the undertaking that it pretends to be active for.


An Austrian insurance mediation service registered in accordance with the Commercial Code (Gewerbeordnung) wishes to also distribute insurance policies in the United Kingdom by way of the freedom to provide services. To do so, it asks the Austrian authority to notify the competent supervisory authority in the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of its valid authorisation to act as an insurance mediator throughout Europe as well as its intention to be active in the UK. In response the FCA adds this “notified” commercial authorisation along with the necessary details to its register of authorised providers. The fraudulent entity then used these publicly available data to create a fictitious company, which is usually just an elaborately designed website, and then aggressively pushes its “services” in an unsolicited manner. As apparent proof of its seriousness, it refers to the entry in the FCA’s Register held by the serious provider, which it has cloned. As a rule, such fraudulent businesses extend beyond supposed insurance mediation and also cover banking and investment business.

In the case that the FMA learns about such dubious business practices then it publishes a warning, naming the clone company and its apparent contact details, prohibits business activities requiring a licence, and notifies the Public Prosecutor’s Office about this circumstance.

Fake Supervisory Authority: FINSA (Financial Supervisory Authority)

Currently a dubious provider, “Gerber and Partners”, is currently active in the United Kingdom, which offers banking and securities services and claims to be supervised in Austria by the “Financial Supervisory Authority” (FINSA) that has its registered office in the Twin Tower 8th Floor, Wienerbergstrasse 11, 1100 Vienna, Austria, and is licenced and registered there. As contact information for FINSA it states: Tel: +43(720) 775336; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: There is a company register on the website of this fictitious organisation FINSA – linked to from “Gerber and Partners”, which is intended to simulate a registration. Investors then receive falsified certificates from FINSA, that are copies of the Austrian business licences about the “registered” company.

The FMA has notified the Public Prosecutor’s Office about this circumstance.

Journalists may address further enquiries to:

Klaus Grubelnik (FMA Media Spokesperson):


+43/(0)676/882 49 516