The FCA has issued a notice that warns investors against dealing with two financial firms that have cloned the operations of authorized companies. The clone firms have mimicked UBS Capital Wealth and ICO Crypto.
The financial watchdog for the UK market has urged investors to be cautious when investing to ensure they select the right firm. The fraudsters who are cloning the named firms are going with the names UBS AG and Swiss Re Capital Markets Limited. The names are being used to convince unsuspecting investors that the firms are the real ones.
Cloning FCA-Authorized Firms
The FCA has stated that the fraudsters are using the domain names www.ubscapitalwealth.com and www.myubscanada.cc domains to mimic UBS AG. However, on the website, the firms do not give details of their physical location.
The FCA has also clarified that UBS Capital Wealth is not linked to UBS AG, a fully licensed firm by the regulator.
In the case of ICO Crypto, the FCA states that the fraudsters are using the domain name swisscoinmarket.com to persuade investors they are legitimate. By doing this, the fraudsters are mimicking Swiss Re Capital Limited firm, another firm licensed by the FCA. The regulator has also added that the clone firm is not associated with the licensed company and neither does it deal with crypto assets.
Protecting investors from Clone firms
In the notice, the FCA stated that all financial firms that operated in the UK needed to seek authorization and licensing from the regulator before commencing operations. The regulator stated that the two named firms had not sought any form of authorization, nor were they authorized to operate in the UK.
The financial market watchdog also stated that “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, the ‘firm reference number’ (FRN) we have given the authorized firm or other details.”
The FCA also urged investors to confirm details about firms authorized to offer financial services from the regulator’s website. The regulator also urged investors to report firms that are offering financial services without having the proper licenses.
Recently, the UK financial regulator also banned ICC Intercertus Capital Ltd, which goes by the trade name, EverFX, from offering CFDs in the United Kingdom. The firm was also found to violate the UK financial market.