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Brokers warned over FCA scam emails

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  • 27/05/2020
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Brokers warned over FCA scam emails
Adviser firms have been warned of a new email scam in which fraudsters imitate the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to try to glean sensitive details.

 

In the phishing alert, brokers are sent an email claiming to be from the regulator asking for a questionnaire to be completed.

However, the email is fake and advisers should delete without clicking on any links or opening attachments.

The email being used has been reported as connect2@gabriel-fca.org.uk.

Nicola Firth, chief executive of Knowledge Bank, told Mortgage Solutions: “We found out about the phishing scam as our mortgage brokerage had received the emails and we identified them immediately as scam emails.

“We wanted to let brokers know as soon as possible so that they don’t get caught out so, as our email of daily criteria changes reaches the inbox of over 4,000 brokers every day, this was the perfect opportunity to alert them to this scam email.

“I hope it means that brokers can now delete it rather than risk opening it and suffering any negative consequences.”

 

Imitating the regulator

Phishing emails are designed by con artists to get hold of sensitive data, such as bank details or information which could be used to carry our identity frauds.

Fraudsters have also been known to imitate the regulator by asking for ‘overdue balances’ to be paid, for ‘business updates’ or to say advisers are ‘owed money’ by the FCA.

To make correspondence seem genuine, scammers clone FCA email addresses and may use logos from the watchdog as well.

Sometimes fraudsters also clone FCA websites which are linked to fake emails.

However, the regulator told Mortgage Solutions it will never contact brokers asking for bank details or for money and that it has more information on how to spot scams imitating the regulator on its website.

More signs that an email may not be genuine could be listing overseas contact details, and with spelling mistakes or poor grammar.

Brokers who receive an email claiming to be from the FCA and are not sure if it is genuine can contact the regulator through its website or phonelines.

 

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