Gulf Central Merchant Bank Ltd, a London-based financial services firm, has become the latest FCA-regulated firm to be the target of so-called clone FX scammers.
The City watchdog said in a warning notice on its website that a fraudulent brokerage website called Gulf FX was impersonating regulated firm GCMB to lure and possibly scam investors. GCMB core business includes investment management and investment banking services.
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.”
The regulator notes that a fake email address is being used by the Gulf Bank copycat, as well as its reference number 601013, but scammers also combine these with genuine details from the registered firm as part of their fraud. It also set up a copycat website, https://www.gulffx.co, with a listed address just one door down from GCMB real offices in 100 Pall Mall, London.
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Fraudsters are pretending to be from GCMB and contacting people in order to trick them out of money.
The FCA warning comes a few weeks after the authority warned the public against the suspicious operation of Cryptobourse, which has been revealed to be manipulating investors by claiming the reference number of an FCA-regulated called Crypto Facilities Limited.
Specifically, GMT Crypto provides contact details, which the FCA warns may be false or mixed with details of GMT Communications.
Citing the “concerns identified around consumer protection and market integrity,” the FCA was reportedly eyeing a complete ban on the sale of crypto-CFDs to retail investors. In a consultation with relevant stakeholders, the regulator touted the possibility of excluding derivatives referencing “cryptoassets that qualify as securities.” But in all cases, CFDs on cryptos would remain subject to ESMA’s restrictions on cryptocurrency CFDs, including lowering the maximum leverage that companies can offer.