On 27 January, a news release from the FCA said that, with over £78 million stolen in ‘clone firm’ investment scams and the number of reports for this scam type on the rise, the FCA warns the public to protect themselves. Reports of ‘clone firm’ investment scams increased by 29% in April 2020 compared to March, when the UK went into its first lockdown. 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. Once set up, these fraudsters will then send sales materials linking to websites of legitimate firms to dupe potential investors into thinking they are the real firm when they are not. The news release includes tips on how to protect oneself.
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