The regulator warned about fraudsters using details of authorised companies to scam customers.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published a warning about Blue Insurance UK which it described as a “clone firm” operating on an unauthorised basis.
The regulator stated in a warning note: “Fraudsters are using the details of firms we authorise to try to convince people that they work for a genuine, authorised firm.”
The watchdog continued: “This is what we call a ‘clone firm’; and 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 authorised firm or other details.”
It flagged that the cloned firm was using a gmail account and a .uk website and that scammers may give out other false details or mix these with some correct details of the registered firm.
The warning note detailed that Blue Insurance UK is a clone of authorised firm Blue Insurance Ltd which is based in Glamorgan and has the firm reference number 431623.
It stressed: “This FCA authorised firm that fraudsters are claiming to work for has no association with the ‘clone firm’. It is authorised to offer, promote or sell services or products in the UK.”
The regulator strongly advised people to check on its register to make sure they were only dealing with authorised financial firms and set out how anyone could report if they believed they had been approached by a cloned firm.
In addition it told businesses that if they thought their authorised firm had been cloned or that scammers were fraudulently using the name or other details then they should contact the ‘Firm Helpline’.
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