The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on Tuesday exposed another fraudulent entity, this time bringing to light a clone that has been posing as London headquartered, FCA regulated brokerage ETX Capital.
The FCA alleges that the copycat broker has chosen to operate under the brand ‘Apex Tradex,’ and advertised its parent entity as Monecor (London) Ltd, the same name of ETX’s holding company to convince local traders that it was the authorized online trading firm that had contacted them.
The illegitimate broker, conversely, did not assume the address at which the original company’s offices are located. Instead, it opted to claim an address in Majuro, Marshall Islands. Clients should note that the licensed firm’s offices are located at One Broadgate London, EC2M 2QS, United Kingdom.
As per usual, this seems like yet another instance of a scam operation where an unlicensed company illegally assumes the identity of an authorized company so that traders will mistake it for the legitimate entity.
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Furthermore, Apex Tradex had also been taking advantage of its misleading name to solicit traders who are based in the United Kingdom. The firm not only identified itself as a well-known online trading company under false pretenses, but it was operating without authorization as well. That alone is a major violation of British law.
Not an unusual phenomenon
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.
The FCA encourages traders or those considering online trading to exercise caution, strongly advising against funding an account or investing via this specific company. Anyone who chooses to sign up with the impostor should bear in mind that they will not receive the financial authorities’ assistance should things go awry.
Today’s announcement is the latest in the FCA’s series of warnings about clone firms posing as legitimate, approved businesses to con UK consumers into making payments for investment services.
The FCA reminded UK investors that clones employ the tactic of adopting a legitimate company’s name when they cold call potential victims. It urges them to be wary if they get contacted by anyone claiming to work for this company.