The United Kingdom’s financial markets watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), today unmasked another fraudulent entity, this time bringing to light the clone firm JW Global which was added to its warning list of unregulated entities, according to an FCA statement.
The watchdog states in its announcement that the suspicious company lists its address at Broadgate West, 1 Snowden Street, London, as well as Deutschlandsberg, Austria, and that it operates through the website www.jwglobal.co.uk.
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A brief review of the JW Global website reveals that it offers investment services on a wide range of financial instruments, ranging from equities, forex, to asset management solutions. However, the company tries to mislead investors as it claims to offer a legal product and to be governed by the FCA. On this website, the clone firm is using an authorised firm’s FRN and registered address.
The original company operates under the name Johann Wolf and is registered with FCA under the Firm Reference Number 581247.
The named broker is a common type of fraud known as ‘cloned firms’, which usurp the identity of an existing authorized entity in order to give the appearance of trustworthiness or legitimacy, thereby convincing investors of its legitimacy. This type of scammer may give out other false details or mix these with some correct details of the registered firm.
JW Global is clearly banking on attracting newbie investors who are not aware of the existence of regulatory registers and are ill-informed to make investment decisions.
Besides clarifying that the firm in question lacks the proper authorisation to be targeting British customers, the FCA also said in its official statement that it strongly advises investors to only deal with financial firms that are authorised, and to check the Financial Services Register to ensure that they are. The UK watchdog further stated: “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.”