Investment scams move up a gear The number of fraudsters using the details of legitimate firms to rope unsuspecting consumers into investment scams increased by 29% in the year to September 2020.
The methods employed by investment scammers have become increasingly sophisticated, with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issuing a warning in January against these so-called ‘clone firm’ scams2.
What is a clone firm?
According to the FCA, clone firms are ‘fake firms set up by scammers using the name, address, and ‘Firm Reference Number’ (FRN) of real companies authorised by the FCA.’
The FCA currently has a warning list of ‘clone firms’ on its website, which you should check carefully before handing over your money: www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart/warning-list.
Financial uncertainty can increase susceptibility
The climate of uncertainty caused by the pandemic has left many consumers worried about their finances, which in turn has increased their vulnerability to ‘too good to be true’ investment offers. However, with an average of £45,242 lost by victims of ‘clone firm’ investment scams in 2020, it pays to be cautious.
Don’t lose out
If you have any doubts whatsoever that an investment opportunity is legitimate, please speak with us. We can help you spot the signs of fraud and keep your hard-earned money where it belongs. 2FCA, 2021