The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned that fraudsters are using a clone firm to impersonate the financial services and investment group Lincoln Finance Ltd and targeting people in the UK.
In an update published on its website today, the City watchdog said a clone broker trading as Lincoln FX, was being used to give the impression they work for the authorized company. The original Lincoln Finance, however, doesn’t offer FX trading services but operates as a finance brokerage, specializing in tailoring asset finance solutions for UK businesses and private individuals.
The fake site exploits the company’s reputation by featuring its official website address at the foot of each web page and listing all its regulatory license numbers. The FCA-authorized broker is available at www.lincolnfinance.co.uk and has no association with the clone brand’s domain www.lincolnfx.capital.
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Last year, the regulator put out a similar warning of a clone firm pretending to be French multinational bank BNP Paribas, using the same tactics of a similar name and email and web address.
Fraudsters attempt to dupe FCA itself
Ironically, some clone scams contacted the FCA claiming to represent regulated firms and asked to change the legitimate company’s contact details on the register, saying details were out of date. As per usual, this action aims to make the clone firm appear genuine and give their own phone number and website details to potential victims so that traders will mistake it for the legitimate 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.
“You should also 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 if things go wrong,” it further explains.