The British financial markets regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), issued a warning to the public recently about additional scammers found to be using the identity of a regulated UK firm to target potential Chinese speaking victims in the UK or to dope traders from China looking for a trusted British broker.
The warning this time is against a cloned firm that goes by the names of AMT Markets and AMT Futures Limited, and uses the website www.amt-markets.co.uk. The cloned firm claims to be based in the UK but the website domain is actually registered under Jiaxin Liu from Guangzhou, China. The website of the clone scam already appears to be inaccessible following the FCA warning. The legitimate firm whose credentials the scammers appropriated, is the London- based Amalgamated Metal Trading Limited.
This warning is the latest example of what seems to be a recently growing trend of fraudsters pretending to be legitimate FX firms, by means of essentially Corporate Identity Theft. The FCA calls this type of scam “clone firm,” explaining that scammers usually use this tactic when contacting people out of the blue, and that the public should be especially wary if they have been ‘cold called.’
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The FCA warns that cloned firms may use the name of the genuine firm, its Firm Reference Number (FRN) or other details mixed together with the details of the clone in an effort to deceive unsuspecting clients. In April of this year, both the FCA and the Maltese Financial Services Authority (MFSA) issued warnings about FX clones and in March both the Cyprus and British regulators exposed cloned FX websites.