FCA issues two warnings on cryptocurrency ‘clone firms’

August 10, 2018
Chris Wheal

Britain’s financial regulator has warned this week that scammers in the cryptocurrency market are using clone firms to defraud investors.

Crypto scammers are using legitimate corporate details to create ‘clone firms’

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued two warnings – posting details of FCA-authorised companies that fraudsters are using to create so-called clones through which they can contact potential victims.

Clones named

Fair Oaks Crypto is a clone of legitimate investment company Fair Oaks Capital based in London and New York, while Good Crypto is a clone of Arup Corporate Finance a design consultancy.

Scammers are taking the details of FCA-approved companies and when contacting the public, use corporate addresses and firm reference numbers to convince victims that the company is legitimate.

Fair Oaks Capital warned on its website: “It has come to our attention that an organisation called Fair-OaksCrypto, which appears to be operating from France, is using the Fair Oaks name and its prior address (67-68 Jermyn Street, London SW1Y 6NY, London) on its website www.fair-oakscrypto.com.”

It added: “If you receive a call from the telephone number +33 9 70 73 43 94 or an email from the domain @fair-oakscrypto.com then please be aware such communication has not been made by Fair Oaks Capital Limited or any other entity within the Fair Oaks group.”

Beware the scammers

The FCA warned in June that UK consumers were being increasingly targeted by cryptocurrency-related investment scams that use social media or fake, but professional-looking, websites to persuade victims to make investments.

It said: “Scam firms can manipulate software to distort prices and investment returns and may scam people into buying non-existent cryptocurrencies.

“They are also known to suddenly close consumers’ online accounts and refuse to transfer the funds to them or ask for more money before the funds can be transferred.”

Its advice remains, and OpenLedger re-iterates: be wary of adverts online and on social media promising high returns on investments in cryptocurrencies or cryptocurrency-related products.

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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