The raft of new cloned websites targeting the reputation of the Swiss Investment Corporation have sprung up, almost overnight, and show no signs of abating. The FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) regulated company has been in the spotlight for the worst reason of all – online identity theft. The FCA has so far only issued a warning to consumers about the practices of certain websites that have mimicked the look, layout, and design of the UK-based investment bank’s own website.
Regulatory numbers and links are legitimate
The key here is that the cloned websites have brazenly put the regulatory numbers and the URL of the Swiss Investment Corporation on these cloned websites. The key to avoiding such scam sites is to know what the SIC actually does. One such website has already been blacklisted, its name being very similar to the company that was cloned – Swiss Investment Fx.
The key to differentiating the clones from the legitimate company is in what they offer. The Swiss Investment Corporation has never offered forex trading or CFDs (Contracts for Difference). This is the staple of these fraudulent websites. The SIC, in fact, offers a wide variety of more personalized financial services such as private placement, global capital markets and order execution.
The flowering of cloned websites on the internet
Scammers in the financial space are getting more and more brazen every day in an attempt to con people out of their money. The most recent, and some in the industry argue the most effective, method they are using is cloned websites. This involves creating an astonishingly close replica of a legitimate company’s website, including their logo and registration numbers with whatever regulatory authority they are governed by.
This then gives potential victims a feeling of security when they punch their credit card numbers into the checkout process, but more importantly, it also gives the fraudsters access to online login credentials.
While cloning is not new in and of itself, the recent spate of financially based websites that are cloned from pre-existing websites has become something of a problem for regulatory authorities and they do not know how to combat it at this point in time.
Some in the industry are firm believers in the companies taking up arms and fending for themselves, after all, it is their reputations on the line. However, others have been adamant that the regulatory authorities should play a greater role in centralizing trust with regards to websites that make spurious financial claims.
Which is the right way, will only become apparent in the future, as more and more work is put into stopping these fraud websites from operating. Whatever industry was hit with this same problem (or similar problems such as piracy), took a long time before they came up with clear guidelines on how to deal with the problem.
The same holds true for this particular problem and while the corporations and the authorities take time in getting their house in order, the general public will have to be much more wary than ever before.