The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the United Kingdom’s financial regulatory body, today unmasked yet another fraudulent entity, this time bringing to light the clone firm JP Morgan Courtage.
Almost all firms and individuals offering, promoting or selling financial services or products in the UK have to be authorised by the FCA.
The address details of the suspicious clone firm are: 14 Place Vendome, Paris, 7500, France, which is itself a clone of the authorised firm address. The fraudulent entity uses the following email addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. The FCA urged investors to be aware that the scammers may give out other false details or mix these with some correct details of the registered firm.
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JP Morgan Courtage (the fraudulent edition of course) is a ‘cloned firm’ – a common type of fraud in which a firm usurps the identity of an existing authorized entity in order to give the appearance of trustworthiness and legitimacy in order to convince investors of its legitimacy.
In this case, the cloned firm appropriated the reference number 589007, which belongs to an established EEA-registered entity operates under the same name in France.
The watchdog stated in its official statement that it strongly advises investors to only deal with financial firms that are authorised, and check the Financial Services Register to ensure they are. It also noted that you should be aware that if you give money to an unauthorised firm, you will not be covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if things go wrong.