The City watchdog has sounded an alarm over yet another fraudulent clone, this time shedding light on a firm called ‘Leleux Associated Brokers’ that has been posing as a regulated trading broker under the same brand name.
The FCA said in a warning notice on its website that the fraudulent brokerage website was impersonating the original firm to lure and possibly scam investors. The genuine company’s core business includes investment broking and asset management services. Leleux’s headquarter is located in Soignies, Belgium, and the company is authorized by the National Bank of Belgium.
The FCA tells consumers that “fraudsters usually use this tactic when contacting people out of the blue, so you should be especially wary if you have been cold called.”
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The regulator notes that a fake email address is being used by the Leleux Brokers copycat, email@example.com, but scammers also combine these with genuine details from the registered firm as part of their fraud.
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Finance Magnates found that the associated website for the clone firm has been suspended. The exact details of this company’s operations are therefore unavailable. However, it is clear from the domain name that its operators were attempting to deceive investors into believing that it was the original company. The fake brand set up a copycat website, leleux.co.uk, with is very similar to the real company’s website www.leleux.be.
This latest case is one of many clones that have attempted to scam individuals through the deployment of illicit means and misleading information. The FCA added in its statement that clones employ the tactic of adopting a legitimate company’s name when they cold call potential victims, and thus urges caution if they are contacted by anyone claiming to work for the firm in question.
The watchdog has also advised investors to ensure that they only deal with financial firms that are authorized by checking the Financial Services Register.