The Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) of the Netherlands today posted data about the number of enquiries it received in the first six months of 2021.
In the first half of 2021, consumers and financial enterprises asked the regulator nearly 9,500 questions. The regulator also assessed 2,752 signals about possible abuses.
The AFM notes that there is an increase in the number of signals about suspicious offers for cryptocurrency and Forex investments.
Moreover, the foreign entities that offer these investments increasingly advertise on social media. In many cases this concerns investments with very high risks, which the provider does not or hardly mention. These entities also regularly engage in misleading and aggressive practices. Often people lose a lot of money.
This trend also applies to people who invest with foreign providers in CFDs (contracts for difference), highly risky, speculative investments. It is often very difficult for private investors to recover money lost by malicious parties.
Nevertheless, in 2021 Dutch judges ruled four times in cases brought by investors who had lost a lot of money trading CFDs. Each time, the verdict was that the victims had to get their investment back. The judges ruled that unfair commercial practices had taken place.
With this jurisprudence, duped investors have a greater chance of reclaiming lost money from rogue foreign providers through the courts. But even if going to a Dutch court is one of the options, it is not free, the AFM warns. So it is better to avoid losing a lot of money as an investor.
The AFM therefore advises private individuals not to respond to advertisements or telephone calls from potentially dubious providers and to report such attempts to the AFM.