The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have become aware of fraudsters contacting consumers by mail, email and telephone to obtain passwords and other personal information. The fraudsters claim to be from the FCA or use the name of FCA employees to make these attempts seem genuine.
The letters, emails and phone calls may say you owe the FCA money or ask for personal information such as copies of your payslips or passport. They may also tell you that you are entitled to a sum of money, and that it needs to be paid into your bank account. The fraudsters however, intend to access your account and remove money from it.
Because of these scams, the FCA have asked us to pass on the following message:
The Financial Conduct Authority would never ask a consumer for personal information like bank account details or internet banking passwords.
The FCA have provided guidance to help identify if an email or website is fraudulent.
The FCA will always use their own email address. An email address from a Hotmail or Gmail account will not be genuine.
Emails from the FCA end in @fca.org.uk and @fcanewsletters.org.uk. However, fraudsters can clone these to make them look genuine. It is important to look out for incorrect logos, spelling and poor grammar, as these can be signs of a scam.
Fraudsters may create copies of the FCA website and modify the information on them. These cloned sites can be changed in any way. For example, the warning pages can be changed so it appears that scam firms are authorised. Contact information and links can also be changed to redirect you towards a fraudster.
A genuine FCA website begins with www.fca.org.uk or register.fca.org.uk in the address bar at the top of a webpage.
To find out more about protecting yourself, the FCA have further information on their website, which can be accessed by visiting: https://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/avoid-scams-unauthorised-firms/fake-fca-emails-letters-phone-calls
If you do receive any communication from the FCA, they would like you to contact them directly if you have any concerns. Do not use contact details on any correspondence received if you feel it is not genuine, instead call the FCA customer helpline on 0800 111 6768.