The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued warnings on two companies acting as clone firms of licensed financial businesses.
June 10, 2021, | AtoZ Markets-The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a warning about a number of firms that have been performing functions as authorized and regulated firms but are in fact companies that clone legally authorized financial businesses.
The UK’s watchdog also reported that the company ICO Crypto uses the swisscoinmarket.com domain to attract people by impersonating the FCA-licensed Swiss Re Capital Markets Limited firm whose reference number in the UK is 187863.
What the FCA Said
Fraudsters are using the details of firms we authorise to try to convince people that they work for a genuine, authorised firm.
“Almost all firms and individuals carrying out financial services activities in the UK have to be authorised or registered by us. This firm is not authorised or registered by us but has been targeting people in the UK, claiming to be an authorised firm”.
This is what we call a ‘clone firm’; and fraudsters usually use this tactic when contacting people out of the blue, so you should be especially wary if you have been cold called.
They may use the name of the genuine firm, the ‘firm reference number’ (FRN) we have given the authorised firm or other details.
FCA’s Recommendations to Avoid Falling into the Cloners’ Trap
- The scammers may give you their own phone number and other contact details.
- They may copy the website of an authorised firm, making subtle changes such as to the phone number.
- They may point you to the genuine firm’s website, but use different details to correspond with you.
- They may claim to be from overseas firms that appear on the FS Register, as these firms don’t always have their full contact and website details listed.
- They may claim that a firm’s contact details on the FS Register are out of date. This is unlikely, as we update the FS Register every evening.
Mr. Investor, remember always to check the financial regulatory watchdog of the company where you wish to send your funds.
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