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Frauds and Scams

Frauds and Scams

ESMA's name and logo are falsely used to promote frauds and scams  in emails, complaint forms, decisions and other documents.

    This correspondence typically includes illegitimate use of the following

    ESMA logo ESMA letter head Signatures of ESMA officials

    Pages from the ESMA website

    These frauds and scams aim to illegally obtain money (directly or through the request for personal details) from individuals or from companies.

    The target of these frauds and scams are often investors who had incurred financial losses. The fraudsters approach their victims on the pretext of helping them to recover their funds and present themselves as ESMA officials. Other fraudsters claim to work for ESMA and to be investigating an investment firm.

    Recipients would typically be asked to provide personal information in order to allow money transfers and international payments. In other cases, the recipients are invited to transfer money from their own bank account; for instance, to pay an administrative fee.

    Warning - Unauthorised use of ESMA's identity by E. Stewart

    In this regard, please note that ESMA’s powers are defined in the Regulation (EU) No. 1095/2010 (ESMA Regulation). These powers do not include the power to investigate or take action against investment firms; nor do they include the power to impose payment of compensation or restitution in individual cases. 

    In order to protect yourself against these unauthorised communications, ESMA advises you to check whether the e-mail received is genuine. For example, you may want to inform your superior in case of suspicious e-mails received in a professional capacity.

    Be aware of the following when making your checks

    • ESMA is a European Supervisory Authority established by Regulation (EU) 1095/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council;
    • ESMA is based in Paris, France and has no affiliates or branch offices elsewhere;
    • ESMA’s emails end with the address @esma.europa.eu. All other email addresses including those with only one letter of difference are fake;
    • ESMA’s telephone number begins with the prefix +33 for France, no other prefix is valid; 
    • ESMA’s official website can be found at www.esma.europa.eu

    To make their correspondence more credible vis-à-vis the recipients, the fraudsters sometimes quote information from, or refer to ESMA’s website and e-mail addresses and use the signature of ESMA’s Departments and ESMA’s disclaimer messages. While some of the information included in their correspondence might indeed be true and accurate, these e-mails are not authentic and do not originate from official sources.

    Any correspondence that requests private information should be treated with caution. If you receive dubious or obviously fraudulent requests, do not access any links or reply or provide personal information.

    If you have doubts or suspicions about the authenticity of any correspondence received that claims to be from or linked to ESMA or its representatives, please forward the concerned emails as an attachment to Info.ESMA@esma.europa.eu.    

    You may also want to report the suspicious communication to your domestic law enforcement authorities i.e. to your local police or to the national public body responsible for investigating financial frauds and scams

    If you have already exchanged correspondence with the fraudsters, we encourage you to cease all interactions and report your case to your domestic law enforcement authorities immediately.

    For helpful information on your rights as a victim of a crime in an EU country, please visit the European Justice website.

    Please note that all references to ESMA or its employees in this kind of communications are entirely false and have been made without ESMA’s knowledge or consent and that ESMA cannot take any responsibility for losses arising from response to such correspondence.

    Please also note that ESMA is taking active action, including lodging complaints with the local police, against these activities and welcomes any information from the recipients of these e-mails.