The British financial markets regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), issued a warning to the public today about scammers found to be using the identity of another FX related firm to target potential victims in the UK.
This warning is the latest example of what seems to be a growing trend recently, of fraudsters pretending to be legitimate FX firms by the means of essentially Corporate Identity Theft. The FCA calls this type of scam “clone firm,” and explains scammers usually use this tactic when contacting people out of the blue, and that the public should be especially wary if they have been cold called.
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The FCA warns cloned firms may use the name of the genuine firm, its Firm Reference Number (FRN) or other details mixed with the details of the clone in an effort to deceive unsuspecting clients. This month, both the FCA and the Maltese Financial Services Authority (MFSA) had issued warnings about FX clones and in March the Cyprus regulator as well as the British exposed cloned FX websites.
The warning this time is against a cloned firm by the name of MN Financial Services Ltd, which uses the website www.mnfx.co.uk.
The cloned firm claims to be based in Kent and also gives out a UK phone number but the website is actually registered under Wang Fei in Shanghai, China and the actual MN Financial Services Ltd is based in Essex. The scam website also displays the out-of-date logo of the FSA (which became the FCA) that should give experienced traders with a sharp eye a hint that something is wrong but just might be enough to dope Chinese traders looking for a trusted British broker.