The Financial Services Board (FSB) has issued warnings against three financial services companies that are operating illegally in South Africa, advising that you don't do business with them.

* Outlook Forex Traders, the FSB says, is using the financial services provider number of a similarly named (legal) company, Forex Brief, in its marketing material. Forex Brief told the FSB that there is no relationship between itself and Outlook Forex Traders, and that it never authorised the use of its number or name by Outlook.

* RBOptions, an entity domiciled in Canada, is soliciting South African investors to trade on its platform. It is not authorised to render financial services in South Africa.

* Olmen Finance Services is using the financial services provider number of a company called Andiset, which trades as All Things Financial. The FSB says Olmen Finance Services is not linked or associated with Andiset and is therefore not authorised to use its number.

The FSB says a person or entity that renders financial services without a licence or without being an appointed representative of an authorised provider “is acting in contravention of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act. Such contravention is an offence which carries a heavy fine or period of imprisonment.”

The FSB says you should always check, either by calling the FSB's toll free number, 0800 110 443, or on its website, www.fsb.co.za, whether or not the company or individual you want to deal with is an authorised financial services provider.