The United Kingdom’s financial markets watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), today unmasked another fraudulent entity, this time bringing to light the clone firm Forest Finance Services Ltd which was added to its warning list of unregulated entities, according to an FCA statement.
The watchdog states in its announcement that the suspicious company is situated 7 Forest Avenue, North Chingford, London, E4 6AR, UK, and that it operates through the website www.forestfinance.info. Although not blatantly claiming to be FCA regulated, it is clear from visiting its website that Forest Finance is indeed attempting to mislead investors that it is offering a legal product through using the details of an authorised firm operating under the name Forest Finance Limited.
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The named broker is a common type of fraud known as ‘cloned firms’, which usurp the identity of an existing authorized entity in order to give the appearance of trustworthiness or legitimacy, thereby convincing investors of its legitimacy.
Forest Finance is clearly banking on attracting newbie investors who are not aware of the existence of regulatory registers and are ill-informed to take investment decisions.
Besides clarifying that the firm in question lacks the proper authorisation to be targeting British customers, the FCA also said in its official statement that it strongly advises investors to only deal with financial firms that are authorised, and check the Financial Services Register to ensure they are. The UK watchdog further added: “You should be aware that if you give money to an unauthorised firm, you will not be covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if things go wrong.”