British investors have been warned not to take out any cryptocurrency-related services with ‘Fair Oaks Crypto’ after the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on Tuesday said it had faked its authorization.
The FCA doesn’t consider cryptocurrencies themselves regulated assets, but derivatives on the back of them fall under its powers of oversight. Last month, it named a small number of crypto-linked firms as having been accepted within its sandbox, which allows testing their solutions and business models in a live market but controlled environment.
Fair Oaks is targeting UK investors offering a full range of offshore investment services, including CFDs on Bitcoin, Litecoin, indices, metals, and energy, but the City watchdog stressed the registration number on its website is a fake and the firm is not authorized to do business in the UK.
The regulator has warned that Fair Oaks is also impersonating FCA-authorized firm Fair Oaks Capital Limited.
The genuine firm has also published the following warning to alert its customers to the copycat firm.
It has come to our attention that an organization called Fair-OaksCrypto, which appears to be operating from France, is using the Fair Oaks name and its prior address (67-68 Jermyn Street, London SW1Y 6NY, London) on its website www.fair-oakscrypto.com.
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Neither Fair-OaksCrypto nor the website www.fair-oakscrypto.com is connected to Fair Oaks Capital Limited, or any other entity within the Fair Oaks group, in any way.
Fair Oaks Capital Limited has no offices or joint venture partners in France.
If you receive a call from the telephone number +33 9 70 73 43 94 or an email from the domain @fair-oakscrypto.com then please be aware such communication has not been made by Fair Oaks Capital Limited or any other entity within the Fair Oaks group.
Also warns against unregulated brokers
Clone firms are not an unusual occurrence in the industry, as fraudsters have grown increasingly resourceful in recent years. A commonly adopted tactic is for scammers to advertise an illegal operation as a reputable brand or entity.
In addition, the FCA blacklisted two FX brands as they promote their services while having no valid licenses of any kind, stating that Royal Markets Online and Royal CFDs are not authorized to promote its advertised products.
According to the City watchdog, many of these entities are acting in a capacity requiring them to be registered with the FCA. Registration allows the agency to provide greater security and oversight of the industry by examining whether firms meet minimum financial standards as well as disclosure, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements.