A notice from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been issued to warn members of the public that a so-called clone firm is posing as Shawbrook Bank Limited.
The fraudsters are using the email address firstname.lastname@example.org and a Brentwood telephone number to trick members of the public they are phoning the genuine bank, which is also based in Brentwood.
The fake company is using a phishing scam to target individuals by sending false adverts and promises of fixed rate returns on bonds to their email addresses.
Shawbrook was alerted to the scam a month ago by a member of the public who had transferred money to the company after receiving an email. They were not an existing customer of Shawbrook. The bank notified the FCA.
This clone firm is not authorised or registered by the FCA but claims to have authorisation.
Clone firms, according to the FCA’s website, usually cold call members of the public using the name of the genuine firm, the firm reference number given by the FCA and other details. Fraudsters often give out a mixture of false and genuine details.
Anyone concerned they have been contacted by firm posing to be an authorised financial company can visit the FCA’s website.
If a firm does not appear on the register but claims it does, consumers should contact the FCA’s helpline on 0800 111 6768.
There is a separate helpline, 0300 500 0597, for firms that think they have been cloned.