FCA warns against RoboxFX, clone of RoboForex
The United Kingdom’s financial markets watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), today unmasked another fraudulent entity, this time bringing to light a clone firm operating under the brand name RoboxFX.
Although RoboxFX doesn’t explicitly claim to be licensed by the FCA, the copycat broker has chosen to operate under a name similar enough to RoboFoex that it convinced local traders that it was the authorized online trading firm that had contacted them.
RoboForex has been in operation since 2009 and the brokerage firm is regulated by the International Financial Services Commission (IFSC). Its sister brand, RoboMarkets, is a European brokerage company established in 2013 and is regulated by CySec (Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission).
The illegitimate broker, conversely, did not assume the address at which the original company’s offices are located. Instead, it opted to claim an address in Palo Alto, California.
The named broker is a common type of fraud known as ‘cloned firms’, which usurp the identity of an existing authorized entity in order to give the appearance of trustworthiness or legitimacy, thereby convincing investors of its legitimacy. This type of scammer may give out other false details or mix these with some correct details of the registered firm.
Besides clarifying that the firm in question lacks the proper authorisation to be targeting British customers, the FCA also said in its official statement that it strongly advises investors to only deal with financial firms that are authorised, and to check the Financial Services Register to ensure that they are. The UK watchdog further stated: “You should be aware that if you give money to an unauthorised firm, you will not be covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if things go wrong.”
FCA has been at the forefront of the fight against financial fraudsters, recently expanding its list of dubious brokers almost on a daily basis.
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.”
The UK watchdog itself was cloned earlier this year, when fraudsters imitated the FCA’s website and created a fake page urging firms to register for annual fees.