A company using the name Andreas Geiger and the domain andreasgeiger.co.uk claims to offer bonds as follows:
- 12.75% over 1 year
- 14.27% per year for 3 years
- 16.7% per year rolled up for 5 years
Andreas Geiger claims that it can be found on the FCA register under number 475002.
In reality this is a clone scam. There is a firm called Andreas Geiger which has been on the FCA register since 2007, but it is nothing to do with the firm claiming to offer bonds via andreasgeiger.co.uk.
Among numerous red flags are:
- The scam claims to be offering bonds paying up to 16.7% per year with FSCS protection – this alone is enough to confirm it as a scam.
- The real Andreas Geiger is only authorised to offer insurance mediation in the UK, which has nothing to do with the fake Andreas Geiger’s wibble about investors’ money being used for HMO housing projects.
- No corporate details (Companies House registration or overseas equivalent) are provided.
- The domain andreasgeiger.co.uk was only registered in April 2019, despite the real firm being on the FCA register since 2007.
- The scam claims to be offering bonds paying up to 16.7% per year with FSCS protection. It bears repeating that this alone identifies it as a scam. The next company you come across offering significantly more than 2-2.75% per year (interest rates correct at time of writing) for an FSCS-protected deposit will be a scam as well.
The scam actively encourages investors to check the FCA register, where they will see that “Andreas Geiger” is registered, and happily hand over their money thinking they have “done their research”. What they won’t know is that the people they are giving their money to have absolutely nothing to do with Andreas Geiger.
Despite being on the register, an “Andreas Geiger Financial” was the subject of an FCA warning in 2015. It seems likely that this was a different clone scam which cloned the same German company.
Who are Andreas Geiger?
Who is behind the scam is not known.
Using the “passporting in” FCA registration of an obscure German firm from the late 2000s is very reminiscent of the Ralf Werner Tait / Ronald Klaus Kebler scam I reviewed in April.
But the atrociously written information memorandum is different in style, so it could be a different scammer with the same method. The text suggests that English is not their first language, or they are just very bad at writing their first language.
The bonds will be secured in a number of ways including the following:- against the underlying assets of the company, including property, income, IP and cash reserves by way of a floating debenture against the company, secured via an MT760 bank guarantee, the strongest guarantee that a bank can offer, its an irrevocable bank to bond guarantee for more than the value of the bond.
The FCA has previously been the subject of a complaint, which was partially upheld by the Complaints Commissioner, for failing to remove the details of an obscure Austrian firm “passporting in” from the UK register, even after the Austrian regulator confirmed they should be removed. The FCA’s failure resulted in an investor being scammed by a fraudster who jumped on the inaccurate registration. Whether this the same scammer is unknown.
What should I do if I invested in Andreas Geiger?
Your money has been stolen by scammers and the chance of recovery is minimal.
Investors who fell for this scam should change their contact details as they are likely to be targeted by – and fall for – similar scams in the future.
If anyone contacts you claiming they can recover your money, it is almost certain to be another scam. They will ask you for “legal fees” or similar which you will never see again.