Another clone broker scam comes up; FCA issues warning

abdelaziz Fathi

Scammers have cloned the website of FCA-regulated firm HYCM and are luring in victims by claiming the reference number of the authorized provider.

binary-clones

A warning over the scam was issued by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which added HycmCapitalMarkets to its list of dubious brokers.

Although visually different from the official HYCM’s website, including the logo, the fraudulent site exploits the company’s reputation by featuring its official website address at the foot of each web page and listing all its regulatory license numbers.

HYCM is the global brand name of Henyep Capital Markets (UK) Limited, HYCM (Europe) Ltd, Henyep Capital Markets (DIFC) Ltd and HYCM Limited, a global corporation founded in 1977, operating in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

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The spread of fraudulent clone websites that mimic the sites of reputable financial entities is nothing new, but regulators have yet to get to grips with the rampant trend.

Fraudsters in the financial services space have numerous methods for trying to get their hands on victims’ cash and one tactic that is becoming increasingly common is the fake or cloned website. In a cloned scam, the fraudsters copy or “clone” a legitimate website. The copy of the website can be astonishingly exact, or just an approximation with copied logos, but the intent is ultimately to separate victims from their money, credit card number, or login credentials.

FCA has been at the forefront of the fight against the financial fraudsters, recently expanding its list of dubious brokers almost on a daily basis.

The FCA tells consumers that “fraudsters usually use this tactic when contacting people out of the blue, so you should be especially wary if you have been cold called.”

The UK watchdog itself was cloned earlier last year, when fraudsters imitated the FCA’s website and created a fake page urging firms to register for annual fees.

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