Another Broker Scammed by a Clone Firm

2019 finishes with a bang for the UK-based independent broker firm PIA-First Limited. Scammers cloned the provider’s identity, claiming their reference number to attract their victims.

The fraudulent site featured the official business’ official website address with their regulatory license numbers at the bottom of their page.

Option Four Ltd joined the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) list of scammers as soon as the regulator warned against them.

Investment scamming is not a rare occurrence in the industry. FCA also warned against a fraudulent clone firm of Goldman Sachs Asset Management International last September.

The clone operates through http://gsaminternational.com/, claiming its part in the Goldman Sachs Group. The official website is https://goldmansachs.com/.

Swiss Investment Ltd. also had a clone company last September, using the website https://www.swiss-investissement.com that mimicked the company’s design. Said company offered cryptocurrency investments and raw materials.

Both websites were shut down soon after the warnings.

Broker Regulating: Boosted Since CMR

FCA fined a £70,000 fine against Professional Personal Claims Limited for misleading consumers into accepting identical allegations.

Websites and printed materials abundantly used logos of five major banks that led consumers to believe they submit redress directly to them. Yet, they were supposed to process through a Claims Management Company (CMC) for a fee.

Multiple clients received identical claims when they should have received unique evidence.

PPC’s misleading marketing material suggested an association with five banks, which wasn’t true. The regulator said firms must ensure accurate advertising in terms of how they present information.

FCA executive director of enforcement and market oversight said CMCs have an essential role in securing compensations. Consumers should have knowledge of these transactions, especially for those who might not otherwise ask for it.

The Claims Management Regulator started the investigation in December 2018 when they imposed a £70,000 fine against the company. After the FCA took over CMC regulation in September 2019, the PPC withdrew its appeal and paid the fine.

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