Business

Steve Kaaru

UK regulator blacklists fraud company posing as FCA-authorized firm

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a warning to investors regarding a fraudulent company operating as the clone of an FCA-registered company. The clone company has been using the details of Swiss Investment Corporation Limited, an investment company registered by the regulator that offers capital markets advisory services.

The clone company, Swiss Investment Ltd operates under the website, www.swiss-investissement.com. On the site, the company claims to offer investors the chance to invest in gold, silver, oil, basic commodities like wheat and sugar and more.

The company also claims to offer investment opportunities in cryptocurrencies. In a dedicated page on the website, the fraudsters encourage potential investors to invest in the lucrative digital currencies, predicting that the crypto market will be worth over $1 trillion in the near future. They also delve into the crypto explosion of 2017, urging the investors to invest early and be part of the next great explosion.

The clone firm also promises discretion to its investors, assuring them that their transactions will be made through user numbers and not under their names. It even promises potential investors that all its investments are guaranteed by the European Central Bank.

The regulator also issued yet another warning regarding a clone of U.S. banking giant Goldman Sachs. The clone, Goldman Sachs Asset Management International is not authorized to conduct business in the U.K., the FCA warned investors.

The FCA advised investors to always ensure they deal with financial firms that have its authorization, reminding them that all the authorized firms are listed on its Financial Services Register. The regulator further asked investors to report any cases of clone firms or any other form of scam.

Last month, the watchdog issued a similar warning regarding a clone of ICAP Europe Limited. The clone, ICAP Crypto used the details of the legitimate firm without its consent according to the FCA’s warning.

According to a February report by the watchdog, investors lost $254 million in 2018 in financial scams, many of which were related to cryptocurrencies. This was a 45% increase over the total losses of 2017, with the rise being attributed to the increase in forex and crypto scams. Over half of the victims were first contacted online by the fraudsters, with the average loss per investor standing at over $37,000.

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