Corporate watchdog ASIC is alerting investors about a suspicious Limestonefx website falsely claiming to be associated with an Australian financial service.
ASIC warns the limestonefx.com site, which lists bonds as one of its trading markets, wrongly claims it is associated with Limestone FX Pty Ltd, an authorised representative of Baileyhenry Capital Group Pty Limited, an Australian financial services (AFS) licensee.
The corporate regulator said it had received reports from people who had invested via the website that were were now unable to withdraw their investments.
ASIC said the operators of the website appear to be located outside of Australia and recovering money lost to investment scams was challenging, particularly when scammers are offshore.
The licensee and authorised representative have advised ASIC that they do not have any connection to the limestonefx.com website.
ASIC’s concerns over limestonefx.com were that the operators of the website do not hold an AFS licence or authorisation to provide financial services in Australia. Purporting to hold an AFS licence does not guarantee safety and dishonest operators sometimes impersonate AFS licensees.
The website also falsely holds out that it is affiliated with an AFS licensee.
What to do if you’ve invested through limestonefx.com
ASIC is warning consumers against dealing with the website limestonefx.com.
You do not need to lodge a report with ASIC as it has sufficient information at this time.
ASIC is unable to assist in recovering funds and recommends contacting your financial institution to see if they can assist in tracing payments made. Unfortunately, often funds are very difficult to recover once it has been sent outside of Australia.
What to look out for
ASIC encourages investors to obtain independent financial advice before investing, and to check ASIC’s registers to see if the entity you’re dealing with holds an AFS licence. However, unscrupulous operators sometimes impersonate AFS licensees.
You should check that the contact details you’ve been given for the entity, corresponds with publicly available details for the licensee, and confirm with the licensee that the communications in fact originated from them.
You should also consider where you are sending your funds. An AFS licensee must ensure that investor funds:
- Are paid into an account held in the name of the provider of the financial services.
- Are paid into accounts held with an Australian authorised deposit-taking institution (such as a bank).
- Are held in a trust account.