London-based CFD trading operator FINSA Europe Ltd, which operates under the trading names Financial Spreads and Financial Spreads Plus, 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 hksvf was impersonating the regulated UK firm to lure and possibly scam investors.
FINSA Europe holds trading licenses in the UK and Australia, and its core business includes Forex, CFDs and spread betting.
The regulator notes that a fake email address is being used by the FINSA copycat, as well as its reference number 525164, but scammers also combine these with genuine details from the registered firm as part of their fraud.
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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.”
FCA has various powers to act
Furthermore, hksvf claims to be regulated by the Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission (CySEC). It also pretends to be affiliated with ECN retail brokerage Tickmill. However, the clone has no association whatsoever with the two regulated firms and is thus involved in fraudulent activity, while its representatives are contacting people only to trick them out of money.
In addition to investment and trading brokers, the UK financial watchdog has recently turned eyes to research providers, taking the opportunity to remind firms of its various powers to act if a financial service or related activities did not conform with the regulator’s rules.
Earlier in January, the Financial Conduct Authority has also highlighted its concerns over financial promotions that falsely implied that all of a firm’s activities were regulated by the FCA or other regulators, when in fact they were not. These promotions can include all forms of communication by firms, including through advertising, websites, and social media.