FCA Exposes 4TFX as Crackdown on Clone Scams Continues

Modern technology allowed scammers to steal brands of authorised firms to trick people into parting with their cash.

In its latest clampdown against the specific type of ‘clone fraud‘, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned local investors to watch out for a company called 4TFX, which seemingly impersonates the financial services group, AT Global Markets (UK) Limited.

Although it did not explicitly accuse the copycat website of pretending to be the multi-regulated broker, the City watchdog said that the main tactic of the scammers was to fraudulently claim that they had the relevant permissions to operate.

To this end, 4TFX was trying to usurp some legal information of AT Global Markets and refer consumers, for example, at the official website of the FCA it tried to convince them that it is indeed the authorized firm.

Furthermore, the ATFX clone had been taking advantage of its misleading name to solicit traders who are based in the United Kingdom. The firm was not only identifying itself as a well-known online trading company working under false pretences, but it was operating without authorization as well. Consumers are thus deceived, thinking they are dealing with a regulated entity. That alone is a major violation of British law.

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The FCA Itself Was Cloned

As Finance Magnates reported, ATFX is entering into a new phase of growth, which will see the broker expand its geographical footprint across Asia, as well as enhance its product offering, focusing on localisation.

At the same time in August, the firm published its financial results for the year ended 31st October 2019, revealing a significant increase in turnover for the period but still closing out the year at a loss.

The City watchdog said in recent statements that it saw an increasing number of cases of the problem and that FX brokers are particularly vulnerable. The FCA pointed out that a common hallmark of fraud, which are claims of too-good-to-be-true gains, is often in place with this type of scam too.

While this phenomenon is rising in prevalence, some clone scams contacted the FCA itself 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regulated firms and asked to change the legitimate company’s contact details on the register, saying details were out of date.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 its own phone number and website details to potential victims so that traders will mistake it for the legitimate entity.

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