Chinese Forex Broker "Clone Wars" Rampant, Now Targeting Major Investment Banks

Major investment banks are the latest victims of the "attack of the clones" which is expanding its scope to major

FCA LogoThe latest set of clone websites which are targeting Chinese customers of foreign exchange trading services are somewhat different. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority issued a warning on its website about a company allegedly registered in Birmingham under the name Goldman Shaks (PVT) Ltd.

A clumsy misspelling and mispronunciation of the major U.S. Investment Bank Goldman Sachs, the website is looking to lure in clients under the guise of a name which has been widely circulating across mainstream media.

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The firm alleges on its Facebook page to be part of “YH Group of Companies which is a UK-based organization which deals with all types of financial products and services.” The FCA states that the company has been providing financial services in the UK without proper authorization, however does not disclose additional information as to the means used by the entity to onboard clients.

Joining the investment bank masquerade is a website disguised as another major investment bank, the website was brought to the attention of Forex Magnates’ reporters by one of our fellow readers.

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Unlike Goldman Sachs’ copycat, JP Morgan FX, comfortably occupying the domain, is shamelessly imposting as a division of major U.S. Investment Bank JP Morgan Chase. The website embedded an economic calendar from FXStreet and a live quotes panel from HotForex.

Ironically, the video which the imposting website chose to represent the JPMorgan name starts with the mention of the infamous “London Whale” trade in over-the-counter derivatives, which caused the loss of $6.2 billion and the bank settled US and UK probes agreeing to pay $920 million in penalties and admitting violating securities laws in 2012.

The trend of clone websites masquerading as trusted financial services providers has been recently growing with the FCA issuing numerous warnings about similar entities. Just during the past month we saw clones lure in traders from Asia under the LCG and AMT (Amalgamated Metal Trading) brands. Similar warnings from the UK and Maltese regulators were publicized earlier this year.

In the real world, the number of such websites could be vast and regulatory bodies hardly have the necessary resources to keep track of all fraudulent activity related to financial services across the web. In the end it’s up to the consumers to report these entities once they identify them as being suspicious.

The downside is that only a few victims of similar scams in Asia will be able to reach out to the FCA, primarily due to the language barrier.

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