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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 13571
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I invested a considerable sum with StratX Markets who have

Customer Question

I invested a considerable sum with StratX Markets who have vanished. i was approached by a company called Equity Partners ltd of Norwich who claim to hold these funds and will pay them to me providing i have a Temporary Licence Reference Number. They will provide this for £5640 refundable. They asked me to pay this to A company Ferry Enterprise ltd , a company set up last year with a share capital of £1 and one director who is Romanian
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this? In which country do you live? If different, which country is your legal question related to?
Customer: No i am resident in Harrogate UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Looking for advice. never heard of a Trade Licensing Reference number
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: no
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 14 days ago.

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today.
Sorry to hear of the issue. I will set out my written answer shortly.

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 14 days ago.

Please don't pay them whatever you do. I presume they called you out of the blue (cold-called you)?.

What has happened is StratX run a scam - I have checked and that trading company is not authorised according to the Financial Conduct Authority (the FCA). The law changed in 2020 and if they are to take your money as a UK citizen they must be authorised - to not obtain authorisation means they have acted illegally. They then sold your details to another scam company to try and get more money out of you. A red flag is being asked to pay a large up front sum.

The first thing to do is to report this to the Police and to Action Fraud so that you can obtain a crime reference number. The Action Fraud website where you can report the crime is here: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

Once you have done that then see if your bank or credit card company can do a charge-back on the monies as a lot of these trading companies are not legitimate outfits. If you paid with a credit card you may be able to make a claim against the card provider under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. If you paid by debit card then your bank may be subscribed to the consumer voluntary code to refund you if you have been scammed. The bank can charge-back up to 120 days from the date you sent money or paid money to a scammer, or from the date you first noticed the problem.

In future my advice is to check whether the trading company is FCA-regulated first of all to ensure they are legitimate. You can check here : https://register.fca.org.uk

The FCA website has a list of regulated companies so this would be worth checking. If you prefer to speak to the FCA then they can be reached on 0800(###) ###-####

If there is no record, I would urge caution and do not give them your personal details, nor any money. The reason being if they are unregulated, there is nothing the FCA can do and in all likelihood the company is based abroad so suing them would be difficult if you wanted your money back. Most of these companies also ask for the initial £250 up front and tempt you to add more funds only for them to become non-responsive when you ask to withdraw.

There are a few companies who can claim to retrieve monies taken by a scammer but in reality they are also scams - the first scammer sells your data to another scammer. Once a scammer has the money it would be very difficult to sue them (most of them being based abroad) and even if you obtained a CCJ against them, enforcing it is another matter.

You can try any of these regulated law firms to see if they can recover the money for you:

They should be able to help you with a no win no fee agreement so that you do not have to pay anything up front to them. These are regulated law firms in the UK.

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 14 days ago.

I hope this helps and answers the question - my goal is to ensure you are happy with the answer and have the information you need. If you have any follow up questions then please let me know. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.

Many thanks,
Jim

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 14 days ago.

Please let me know if the answer helped or if you need me to cover anything else?. I am happy to clarify the answer or if you have any follow up questions. If so, I’d be grateful if you would let me know. I am free most days, including weekends, so feel free to ask me anything you are unsure of.

Best wishes,

Jim

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
thanks Jom one last question what is a temporary licence reference number
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 14 days ago.

I think they mean they have temporary permission from the FCA to operate. They don't though - it's a lie as I checked and they don't even have that. They need permission to deal with a UK citizen, or an EU/EEA citizen.