Scammers have attempted to exploit GRC Investments Limited, a private investment company based in Christchurch. In September, the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) issued a warning about an investment scam operating under a similar name – G.R.C Trustee.
The fraudulent G.R.C Trustee website falsely asserted that it was owned, operated, and regulated in New Zealand, using the same Christchurch address as the legitimate business, GRC Investments Ltd. The imposter even linked to a copy of GRC Investments Ltd’s Certificate of Incorporation to deceive potential investors.
In reality, GRC Investments had no connection with the impersonator and had never sought investments from the public. The company was exclusively used for private investing by its owner, Garry Carleton.
Mr. Carleton became aware of the impersonation when the FMA contacted him. He expressed his annoyance and concern, fearing that investors’ funds could be stolen and worrying about potential threats to his family.
Taking proactive measures, Garry utilized optional fields on the Companies Office website to add a warning about the scam, serving as a cautionary note for anyone researching his company. This action prompted the scammers’ website to cease linking to his company’s entry on the Companies Office website.
Garry is now considering updating the details of his other companies to clarify that they are private entities not engaging with the public. He recommends that other companies follow suit, emphasizing the importance of protecting their identities. Garry believes scammers exploit the good reputation of New Zealand companies to dishonestly acquire funds, undermining the integrity of businesses operating honestly and responsibly.