Almost all firms and individuals carrying out financial services activities in the UK have to be authorized or registered by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). From time to time, however, firms not authorized or registered by the FCA are targeting people in the UK, claiming to be an authorized firm.
This is what is called a ‘clone firm’; and fraudsters usually use this tactic when contacting people out of the blue, so you should be especially wary if you receive an unsolicited call from a company offering financial services. Fraudsters may use the name and details of a genuine firm and even the actual ‘firm reference number’ (FRN) which the FCA assigns to authorized firms.
Clone firm details
Unknown fraudsters are currently using and giving out the following details as part of their efforts to scam people in the UK:
Regent Street Finance (a clone of a now-dissolved Jersey-registered firm)
Address: 26 Helier Street, St Helier, Jersey, JE2 3RA; or 37 Regent Street, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 4HT
Telephone: 0117 911 1691 or 0800 680 0293
Website: www.regentstreetfinance.co.uk or www.ipomarketing.net
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Be aware that the scammers may give out other false details or mix these with some correct details of the real and registered firm.
Details of the Jersey-registered (dissolved) firm
This Jersey registered firm that fraudsters are claiming to work for has no association with the ‘clone firm’. Its correct details were:
Firm Name: Regent Street Finance Limited
Firm Reference Number: 95912
How to protect yourself
The FCA strongly advise you to only deal with financial firms that it has authorized and check the Financial Services Register to ensure that they indeed are. The register has information on firms and individuals that are, or have been, regulated.
There are more steps you should take to avoid scams and unauthorized firms.
You should also be aware that if you give money to an unauthorized firm, you will not be covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if things go wrong.
What to do if your firm is cloned
If you think your authorized firm has been cloned or scammers are fraudulently using your name or other details, contact the FCA directly.