The working week might almost be over, but financial regulators remain vigilant in their search for potential scams in the financial space. This Friday, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published a warning against another clone firm.
In the regulator’s warning, it flags an entity by the name of BNP Paribas which claims to be based at 10 Harewood Avenue, London, NW1 6AA and use the following phone number: 0208 133 1128.
It might not come as a surprise to you, that the FCA has called out this entity as being a clone firm of French multinational bank BNP Paribas. The bank’s UK operations are licensed under the firm reference number 124605.
Taking a look at the entity, which the watchdog has deemed as suspicious, it appears that it has cloned the address of the legitimate UK operations of BNP Paribas. As highlighted by the FCA, this is a common tactic.
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“Be aware that the scammers may give out other false details or mix these with some correct details of the registered firm,” the British authority warned in its statement this Friday.
“This FCA authorised firm that fraudsters are claiming to work for has no association with the ‘clone firm’. It is authorised to offer, promote or sell services or products in the UK…” the regulator continued.
Clone firms continue to target brokers
As the name suggests, clone firms are fraudulent entities which copy details of a legitimate firm, such as their name, website, address, registration details, etc. Some even go to the lengths of completely copying a firm – from their website, to brand, in order to trick investors into thinking that they are the actual legitimate firm.
Clone firms are a big problem in the foreign exchange (forex) and cryptocurrency sectors. As Finance Magnates has reported, Tickmill, Dukascopy Bank and broker-dealer ICAP, among others, have all been targeted by clone firms.