FCA alerts traders to be wary of Interactive Brokers clone

abdelaziz Fathi

Scammers have cloned the website of multi-regulated financial services provider Interactive Brokers and are luring in victims by claiming the reference number of the authorized provider.

A warning over the scam was issued by the UK’s FCA, which has been at the forefront of the fight against the financial fraudsters, recently adding interactivebrokers.limited clone to its list of dubious brokers.

The Financial Conduct Authority said Interactive Brokers (UK) Ltd, the UK arm of US-listed brokerage firm, is an FCA-registered financial services provider based at Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London. The firm which operates online via the website www.interactivebrokers.co.uk is one of the industry’s leading brokerages, providing a range of trading solutions for investors and institutions across the globe.

Although visually different from the official Interactive Brokers’ 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.

The genuine company’s headquarters are based in the US and has a physical presence in ten entities globally. The list includes Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Luxembourg, Singapore and the UK, serving more than one million client accounts in over 220 countries.

Interactive Brokers was founded in 1977 by Thomas Peterffy, a Hungarian-born American billionaire businessman.

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.

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.

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.”

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