Unauthorised investment firms are falsifying Hanfa certificates and deceiving citizens

Published: 02. November 2022.

The Croatian Financial Services Supervisory Agency (Hanfa) would like to warn the public of the increasing number of cases of fraud related to investments, both in cryptocurrencies and in regulated financial instruments. These are manly not cases of investment; these are attempts to deceive the public. Lately, there has been a number of cases where alleged investment firms / brokerage companies are trying to convince prospective investors that they are in possession of a certificate issued by Hanfa, authorising them to provide investment services to Croatian citizens. As proof of the alleged legitimacy, citizens are also provided with documents with falsified Hanfa logos and the names of Hanfa representatives. They are urged to pay certain amounts of funds, and made believe that these funds will later be invested in the financial markets for profit and return.

We would like to take this opportunity to point out that Hanfa does not issue any certificates to foreign investment firms. Instead, after receiving a notification from their national competent authority, it enters them into its public register of investment service providers that meet the conditions to provide investment services in the Republic of Croatia. Register of foreign investment firms and Register of management companies that meet the conditions to provide investment services in the Republic of Croatia can be found on Hanfa website and are freely available to everyone. 

Below is an example of a document with falsified logos and false name of a Hanfa representative and the United Kingdom regulator (Financial Conduct Authority - FCA), which was sent to citizens who had been contacted via the e-mail address chelsea.lee@altimatrade.pro.

The document states the name of a legitimate management company - DNCA Finance Luxembourg, the Luxembourg subsidiary of the company DNCA Finance from France, which is licensed to operate by the competent national authority from France. However, the regulator from France has not notified Hanfa of the cross-border provision of services to Croatian citizens by DNCA Finance Luxembourg, as a branch of a legitimate company registered in another member state.

Given that the e-mail address domain used to send the falsified document is alitmatrade.pro, it could be that the company Shenanigans Consulting LTD, allegedly registered in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, which stands behind the platform www.altimatrade.pro, falsely presents itself as a legitimate investment firm or an investment firm management company based in the EU.

Hanfa has taken a number of actions to prevent such and similar fraud, including contacting the national regulator of the legitimate management company as well as the national regulator of UCITS funds offered by the platform (DNCA Invest UCITS) and the regulator whose logo has been falsified, and will take further actions such as reporting to the State Attorney's Office for the commission of a criminal offence.

Hanfa is warning the public not to be tricked by these and similar attempts at deception and fraud. In its public register on its official website, Hanfa provides a list of all investment firms authorised to operate, and foreign investment firms notified by their national regulators to provide investment services in the Republic of Croatia. Hanfa also publishes a list of all authorised management companies and foreign management companies notified by their competent supervisory authorities for the management of investment funds.

Hanfa is taking this opportunity to urge all citizens not to be tricked by phone calls from unknown persons, various advertisements and invitations on social networks, as well as on various websites for investment in unverified investment funds or via unverified investment firms. Similarly, they should avoid investing their money in financial products that they do not understand and for which they have not verified the authenticity and authorisation of financial intermediaries, regardless of the type of investment in involved.

More details on all of Hanfa’s warnings are available on its website, as well as other information, educational texts, brochures and leaflets.


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