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FCA warns of Fidelity clone

FCA warns of Fidelity clone

The Financial Conduct Authority has warned fraudsters are using a clone firm under Fidelity's name to target victims in the UK. 

In a statement on its website the regulator said clone firm Fidelity International was being used by fraudsters to impersonate authorised firm FIL Investments International, trading as Fidelity Investments International and Fidelity International, and known to the industry as Fidelity. 

The FCA warned the clone firm was not authorised or registered by the regulator but had been targeting people in the UK as part of a scam. 

Fraudsters usually use a clone firm when contacting victims "out of the blue" and the public should be wary of cold calls of this nature, the City-watchdog said. 

The FCA-authorised Fidelity, which is available at www.fidelity.co.uk , has no association with the clone Fidelity International. 

The FCA said: "We strongly advise you to only deal with financial firms that are authorised by us, and check the Financial Services Register to ensure they are. It has information on firms and individuals that are, or have been, regulated by us.

"You should also 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 if things go wrong."

The regulator warned some fraudsters claiming to represent authorised firms will try to change the company's contact details on the register to appear genuine and giving their own phone number and website details to potential victims.

The FCA said it has heard of fraudsters claiming a firm's contact details on the register are out of date, but the regulator said this would be "unlikely" as it updates the register each evening. 

There have also been instances of fake versions of the regulator's own website and register which include the fraudsters' contact details in an attempt to dupe victims.  

rachel.addison@ft.com 

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