The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a warning on Wednesday about a clone firm that is impersonating Wells Fargo, the US-based bank giant. According to the note, the impersonators are using the legit details of the FCA-authorized Wells Fargo branch to scam people in the UK.
In fact, scammers use a domain name dubbed wf-europe.com to send emails to people and use a false address that does not coincide with the official one belonging to Wells Fargo Securities International Limited. “Be aware that scammers may give out other false details or mix these with some correct details of the registered firm. They may change contact details over time to new email addresses, telephone numbers, or physical addresses,” the FCA warned.
A clone firm is a concept used by the British watchdog or refers to the tactics used by fraudsters when contacting people trying to convince them that they work for an authorized firm in the United Kingdom. The other FCA-licensed branches of Wells Fargo are Wells Fargo Asset Management (International Limited, Wells Fargo Bank (National Association) and Wells Fargo Capital Finance (UK) Limited.
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“If you use an authorized firm, access to the Financial Ombudsman Service and FSCS protection will depend on the investment you are making and the service the firm is providing. If you would like further information about protection, the authorized firm should be able to help,” the UK FCA added.
Recent Clone Firms Spotted by the FCA
In August, the British financial watchdog issued warnings against three companies that are acting as clone firms, posing as licensed businesses. ICM Capetal, www.longleafmanagement.co.uk, and IntertradesFX claim to be fully authorized by the FCA to run operations within the country. Moreover, FCA recently cautioned that UBS Capital Wealth and ICO Crypto are on the regulator’s watchlist, as fraudsters are using UBS AG and Swiss Re Capital Markets Limited details, respectively, to convince people that they are a legit company.