Scams  

FCA issues flurry of scam warnings

FCA issues flurry of scam warnings

The Financial Conduct Authority has issued a number of warnings about firms that are not authorised or registered by the regulator.

On Friday (May 20), the FCA put out warnings for Beneffx, Trader House, Cryptology & NFT World and Climax Multilingual Investment. 

For these four warnings, the FCA said it believes the firms may be providing financial services or products in the UK without our authorisation. 

In a statement on each one, the City watchdog said: “Almost all firms and individuals offering, promoting or selling financial services or products in the UK have to be authorised or registered by us.

“This firm is not authorised by us and is targeting people in the UK. You will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, so you are unlikely to get your money back if things go wrong.”

Earlier this month, the FCA said investors have lost more than £25mn over the past year to screen sharing scams, an 86 per cent increase in cases over just 12 months.

Between January 2021 and March 2022, the FCA said 2,142 victims fell foul of the screen-sharing scams, and victims ranged in age from 18 to over 70.

On its consumer warnings page, the FCA also issued a warning against Andbank Asset Management/ Andbank Asset management London, which it said was a clone of an FCA authorised firm.

The authorised firm is Andbank Asset Management Luxembourg and has nothing to do with the clone company.

The regulator said: “Fraudsters are using the details of firms we authorise to try to convince people that they work for a genuine, authorised firm.

“This is what we call a 'clone firm'; and fraudsters usually use this tactic when contacting people out of the blue, so you should be especially wary if you have been cold-called.

"They may use the name of the genuine firm [and] the 'firm reference number' we have given the authorised firm or other details.”

A day before this spate of warnings, on Thursday (May 19), the FCA issued 13 warnings for both crypto firms and clone firms. 

Firms included on its consumer page included Globalcryptoalliance.Ltd, Cryptovest, Ucryptovest, Crypto Bot Options, Covington Advisors and Cryptowin Trading.

Clone firms included The FluentMoney / Fluent Money Loan Lenders, Acadian-Asset.management, www.aflplanning.com, brokerexpressltd.com, LCG.fit, AIG Europe Investment and XTB Coin Trading. 

Last week, Help & Advice introduced a scam predictor to allow those considering a pension transfer to check whether they are at risk of being scammed.

sonia.rach@ft.com

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