Regulation  

FCA issues warning on deVere clone firm

The warning followed an announcement last month by deVere that it was being targeted by an “elaborate scam”. It claimed the fraudsters were impersonating advisers who worked for deVere using corporate identities almost identical to the regulated firm.

The FCA notice said a firm called deVere Group UK claimed to operate out of an office in Holborn, London – exactly the same address as FCA-authorised deVere Group.

The scam used the name of Jonathan Harley when customers were contacted using the email address jonathanharley.deVere-Group@london.com. The real deVere Group employs Jonathan Harley as a paraplanner.

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Last month Kevin White, head of financial planning at deVere United Kingdom, said the scammers were “using the identity of deVere UK to dupe unsuspecting people into investing large amounts of life savings based on their so-called advice, often using aggressive sales tactics”.

Clone firm warnings
The deVere clone was among a group of firms which the FCA issued warnings against last week. Another, Next Financial Network, was accused of offering financial services to customers despite not being authorised by the FCA. No one answered the phone when Financial Adviser tried to contact the firm.