Financial regulator Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) has sent a letter to 2,500 Dutch people to warn them about gangs approaching consumers by telephone with dubious investment offers, the AFM reports Thursday.
The regulator received the data about consumers from the judiciary. The names were on a list seized in an international criminal fraud investigation.
The AFM refers to boiler rooms, another word for a space from which the gangs operate. A boiler room is also compared to a call center, but has a dubious character because it also uses call scripts and lists. The scammers use those lists of names to approach consumers over the phone with a so-called “great investment offer”.
“They often assume that investments quickly yield a lot of money and there are few risks”, according to the AFM. The scammers first start a pleasant conversation with the potential victims and try to build a bond. “Call scripts are also used to persuade them to step in and then deposit more and more money.”
The calling gangs get the telephone numbers because consumers enter them online. “Or leave it by clicking on something. This is done, for example, via an advertisement on Facebook or in other media, but also via sites with investment offers,” says the AFM. The number then ends up on a list.
And those lists keep circulating endlessly. “Getting on the list is easy, but getting off it seems almost impossible.” The AFM therefore warns these people never to accept a telephone investment offer and advises to hang up immediately.