Clone regulators are nothing new, and are becoming a more routine occurrence in multiple jurisdictions. The latest instance of this scam entailed New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority (FMA) unearthing an imposter of its own registry. The regulatory authority has warned against the Financial Service Provider Commission (FSPC), which has mimicked the FMA’s register for regulated services domestically.
All businesses and individuals offering financial products or services in New Zealand are registered on the group’s Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR). Seeking to scam investors however, the fraudulent FSPC is claiming to be a financial services regulator itself, even offering its own recommendations.
The clone group has even begun endorsing multiple products and services from unauthorized groups. Typically, many scammers will launch a clone of a broker or other retail group in a bid to hoodwink investors. Similar company names, offerings, or websites have grown increasingly complex and convincing, as fraudsters look for new ways to exploit vulnerable customer bases.
Clone regulators represent a different breed altogether, given most individuals’ lack of familiarity with these websites. As New Zealand’s paramount regulatory authority, the FMA has successfully combated scams and unauthorized financial service providers for years.
All businesses or individuals in the country can be found on the FSPR, the country’s most comprehensive database for registered entities. The registry also contains any and all unauthorized providers, and is periodically updated to include flagged groups.
As such, the FMA is warning all individuals to not engage with any activities or functions associated with the Financial Service Provider Commission. Investors are strongly recommended to ignore any consultations or endorsements from the FSPC, for they do not represent any legal entity or regulator and should be promptly dismissed.