The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a warning on Friday regarding suspected fraudsters who are targeting individuals in the UK. The fraudsters hide behind legitimately regulated companies, providing people with these companies’ information as “proof” of regulation, despite not having any affiliation with them. The FCA warns: “They may use the name of the genuine firm, the ‘firm reference number’ (FRN) we have given the authorised firm or other details.”
One of the companies headlined on the FCA website is called GalaFX Ltd., and it appears to be using the details of an FCA-regulated firm. The name of the authorized company is Enterpays Global Payment Solutions Ltd. One of the tactics discussed in the warning, describes people being contacted out of the blue.
In a similar case a clone company called Crypto Brain has been using the information of a regulated firm called Robson Laidler Wealth, as well as its FCA-issued FRN.
Cases of Fraud Adding Up
Unfortunately, these are not the first examples of this type of incident, which have been occurring quite often recently. Just one week ago, the FCA revealed the details of a large scale Morgan Stanley Clone. In that particular case, two entities including an FX broker were claiming to be associated with Morgan Stanley, in an effort to appear legitimate, despite not having any regulatory authorization for operation in the region. False claims of association is considered fraud, and these firms received warnings from the FCA.
The FCA remains vigilant in its goal of ending any fraudulent activity within the UK. Earlier this week, it extended the blacklist of brokers and firms that are operating illegally within its jurisdiction.
Individuals should be suspicious when they are contacted without prior notice, and without having knowingly signed up to a service. In order for individuals to protect themselves from potential fraud, it is imperative to check any company that may contact them on the Financial Services Register. “It has information on firms and individuals that are, or have been, regulated” by the FCA.