Fake emails purporting to be from the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have been sent to thousands of potential market participants around the world, according to an FCA statement.
The mass email scam appears to be from firstname.lastname@example.org. The regulator has also alerted investors to other fake emails entitled ‘FCA business update’, ‘Blacklisted FX firms’ and ‘Overdue balance’ which appeared to be sent from email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org on May 9, 2017. It also added that fake emails were sent from email@example.com with the subject ‘FCA Regulation 2017 on 16 December 2016.
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Additional cases included fraudsters sending fake emails from firstname.lastname@example.org on 21 March 2017, and from email@example.com back on 5 January 2017.
Typically, the fraudsters use special software to make the message appear genuine. Recipients are often invited to click on a link that appears to take them to the watchdog’s website. Instead, they go to a false website that tries to steal sensitive information from those targeted, which can be used later without their knowledge to commit fraud.
In a notification on its website, the FCA recommends that recipients delete the scam emails without opening them. The FCA has provided details on how to identify spoof emails in a dedicated section on its website.