Bank Guarantee Fraud
This notice is issued by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority (“the Authority”) in accordance with the powers conferred upon it under Section 30 of the Financial Services Act 2008.
Potentially fraudulent bank guarantees
The Authority has recently become aware that members of the public are being approached in relation to what appear to be fraudulent promises of high value banking and investment opportunities.
Sums of up to Euro 500,000,000 are being offered as bank guarantees to members of the public in what appears to be an attempt at defrauding those members of the public.
Once the member of the public becomes interested in a deal they are told that the funds are available from one of the main high street banks in the Isle of Man and have been temporarily blocked by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority because of unpaid taxes in the name of the applicant and that the funds can only be released upon payment of a Euro 200,000 fee.
Emails seen by the Authority purporting to come from high street banks are clearly fictitious, using incorrect addresses, staff names and email addresses resembling those of current or former employees of the bank but not being genuine.
The Financial Services Authority are the financial regulator in the Isle of Man and would at no time become involved in the ‘blocking’ of any accounts because of unpaid taxes or anything similar
The strong suspicion is that innocent members of the public are being set up to pay the Euro 200,000 ‘release’ fee and that would be the last they hear of those behind the scam and could result in victims losing a large sum of money.
General advice on how to avoid becoming a victim to identity theft and advanced fee frauds can be found on the Action Fraud website at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ID and http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/fraud-az-advance-fee-fraud respectively.
Any persons who are already involved in any dealings with matters involving bank guarantees of unrealistic sums and claims that a regulator is blocking the release of funds until a fee is paid should consider notifying their local Police, bringing to their attention the contents of this notice. The Isle of Man Financial Services Authority is also available for advice on the number below
Anyone with general concerns concerning any individual or company holding themselves out as conducting a regulated activity in or from the Isle of Man without the requisite licence should contact the Enforcement Division at the Authority on +44 1624 689311 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.
Authority Reference: NR/007/2021 - 9th September 2021