Scandinavian Capital Markets warns clients to beware of fake clone website
Scandinavian Capital Markets (SCM) has sounded alarm bells as the Sweden-based forex broker spotted a fraudulent scheme imitating their brand and even trying to extract money from their customers through deception.
In a statement to FinanceFeeds, Michael Buchbinder, a partner at Scandinavian Capital Markets, said: “It appears the group that spoofed our website is highly sophisticated and put a lot of effort into the fraud. They have created multiple fake Instagram profiles claiming to be Cathie Woods. The way they work is that they offer mentorships to traders if the trader opens a brokerage account. That is when they guide the trader to their fraud website.”
As per usual, this seems like yet another instance of a clone website where a gang of fraudsters assume the identity of an authorized company so that traders will mistake it for the legitimate entity.
SCM said its warning comes amid increasing concerns over the prevalence of clone frauds as criminals running these scams can engage with victims through a number of channels, including interactions on social media platforms.
The fraudsters not only used a slight variant of the company’s details but even cloned SCM’s website domain name. Namely, as part of their fraud, they set up a copycat website: scandinaviancapitalmarket.com, which prompted action from the regulated company.
“On the surface, it can be difficult to tell that you are in fact not on the Scandinavian Capital Markets website, but rather an imposter site, as the group did an exact copy of our existing website,” the company said.
Scandinavian Capital Markets further advises clients:
There are two ways to differentiate between the imposter website and our website:
1) Pay attention to the domain. Our website is scandinavianmarkets.com while the spoofed version is scandinaviancapitalmarket.com.
2) The application pages once you click open account are completely different. On our version, you have a secure application portal and on the spoofed, you get a login page.
We are actively trying to have this website taken down and contacted the appropriate authorities. We look forward to having it taken down in quick order, however in the meantime, if someone has questions, they should contact us on our actual website, www.scandinavianmarkets.com.
Scandinavian Capital Markets is a premier STP-ECN forex broker based in Stockholm, Sweden. The company has been operating since 2011 and is authorized and registered with the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA).
Clone scams on the rise
Cloned firms are a common fraud in which companies mask their fraudulent activities by using details the same as or similar to those of an authorized entity to give the appearance of trustworthiness and legitimacy.
Global financial regulators have repeatedly warned investors to be extremely cautious in their financial dealings. They also keep market participants informed by drawing attention to suspicious operations and unregulated entities that they should abstain from doing business with.
Nevertheless, relying on the regulators alone was not enough in the battle against scams. As such, the financial industry as a whole has a role to expose copycat websites and to prevent investors from falling victim to them.
Most regulatory bodies post warnings about clone companies and other scams on its websites, with the number of relevant warnings issued by the UK’s FCA surpassing 1,100 last year.
Moreover, statistics revealed that Britons lost nearly $100 million to ‘clone firm’ scams in 2020 alone. This figure was likely to be much lower than reality because many scams are not reported.
FX brokers are among those that have been primarily targeted by rogue operators who clone their names and websites in an attempt to part unsuspecting investors from their cash.