Scams  

BetterBorrow reports fake website to FCA

BetterBorrow reports fake website to FCA
Julia McColl, chief product officer, Chetwood Financial

The borrowing platform BetterBorrow has issued a warning over a scam website operating under its name.

According to BetterBorrow, the scam website has been reported to both the Financial Conduct Authority and the police.

The clone uses the domain BetterBorrow.uk while the genuine site's domain is BetterBorrow.co.uk. 

BetterBorrow also warned customers of the imitation scam through its website and social media channels, shown in the screenshot below.

The imitation website, which was launched in late July, has not yet been removed according to Julia McColl, chief product officer at Chetwood Financial, which powers BetterBorrow’s platform.

McColl added: “Fraud is on the rise, and the techniques deployed are becoming more advanced and personalised.

"We have moved quickly to address the issue. Hopefully action will be taken to remove the clone website soon."

Until then, McColl has urged customers to “double check the domain addresses, the precise spelling of the company name and ensure you are using trusted platforms”.

The FCA register has placed a notice about clones of Chetwood Financial, recommending that customers access firms through the financial services register directly rather than through emailed links or the firm website. 

In July 2020, the FCA found its own website had been cloned and now recommends users to ‘‘check the address of our website is correct and there are not subtle changes that mean it's a fake.’’

In November 2020, FTAdviser reported that almost half of all the regulator’s scam alerts feature cloned firms, with impersonation scams branded “most dangerous”. 

At the time, Debbie Barton, financial crime prevention expert at Quilter, said: “Modern technology has allowed scammers to become much more sophisticated in the methods they use to entice their victims.

"We are seeing more and more scammers stealing the brands of well-known financial services firms to trick people into parting with their cash.”

McColl said the BetterBorrow cloned website was a reminder of the rising rates of fraud, stating: “We urge all customers to remain extremely vigilant.

"Incidents like this remind us that we must be aware of any warning signs that a person or organisation might not be who they pretend to be.” 

The FCA declined to comment on the BetterBorrow case. 

sophia.massam@ft.com