Beware of fake FCA emails, websites, letters and phone calls

The FCA today issued a warning about fraudulent emails, letters and phone calls masquerading as official communications from the regulator. The warning also highlights fake FCA websites.

The FCA’s warning notice includes a huge amount of valuable information on how to spot and avoid these scams and lists fake email addresses and domain names currently in use by fraudsters. It is essential reading for anyone not wishing to be taken in.

Be on the lookout, in particular, for emails including the domain names @gabriel-FCA.org.uk, @opbas.net, info@opbas.uk, @fcanewsletter.org.uk, @fcaimpact and @fca-eu.com. See the FCA announcement for full details. 

Also listed in this important communication are details of genuine FCA websites and social media accounts. Anything not on this list should be rigorously avoided. 

The FCA explains how scammers contact individuals by email, post or phone call and claim to be from the FCA – sometimes even using the name of an actual employee, to give the impression that the communication is genuine.

The FCA always sends emails from addresses ending in @fca.org.uk and @fcanewsletters.org.uk – but warns that fraudsters can ‘clone’ these email addresses to make their emails seem genuine. 

Bear in mind that the FCA will never ask for personal information like bank account details or internet banking passwords.

The announcement also includes a link to a list of FCA email addresses known to be in use by fraudsters.

The FCA warns that scammers are becoming increasingly skilled at disguising their communications as genuine FCA output. Signs that something isn’t right could include listing a mobile or overseas contact phone number, an email address from a hotmail or gmail account, or a foreign PO Box number. Spelling mistakes and poor grammar can be a giveaway – but some scams are very hard to spot just on that basis.

Fraudulent phone calls too can be hard to spot. If you are in any doubt at all hang up and contact the FCA via a channel you know you can trust – preferably using a different device to the one on which you were contacted.

If you would like to know more about protecting yourself from fake FCA communications, or any other compliance-related issue, please contact a member of our expert team on 01925 765777, or email us at info@ukgigroup.com

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