What to do when suspecting a scam

Before you invest

Before you invest, always check first if the firm you plan to do business with is regulated by the relevant national competent authorities. These authorities give authorizations and licenses to regulated firms to do certain types of business and provide services. Complaints procedures and compensation schemes may vary between jurisdictions, therefore it is recommendable to find out what your rights are in the jurisdiction where the firm is regulated.

Investor warnings and alerts

Regulators issue warnings and alerts about companies that are found to be offering investment services without being authorized or regulated. These warnings and alerts are usually available on each regulator's website. The IOSCO Investor Alerts Portal provides a single point of access to alerts and warnings from IOSCO members about firms offering investment services in their jurisdictions without authorization. This portal does not provide a complete list of all alerts and warnings from all IOSCO members though.

When suspecting a scam

The IOSCO Investor Alerts Portal can be searched if you are suspecting a scam or other illegal investment activities, such as Ponzi schemes and boiler rooms. Potential investors should however not assume, in the absence of a relevant warning on the IOSCO Investor Alerts Portal, that companies who approach them offering investment services are authorized or legitimate. Rather, you should always check with your domestic regulator whether a company is authorized to provide investment services. See "About IOSCO>IOSCO Membership" for the contact details of all regulators that are members of IOSCO.

Please note also IOSCO’s warning regarding letters appearing to be sent from IOSCO.