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Screenshot of a breaking news alert e-mail from Q2 2017
Today, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has released a public notice bringing to the attention of potential investors yet another example of a fraudulent entity aiming to relieve unsuspecting customers of their funds by attempting to pose as a bona fide British company.
This practice, known as ‘cloning’ has become something of a regular occurrence over recent months, with the FCA keeping a watchful eye on the practice of such opportunists, who often hail from overseas.
In this particular case, the entity concerned is a dubious binary options company operating under the name of Mayfair 23st, with a trading address of Tower 42, 23 Hanover, London.
This particular address is one of the City’s most prestigious addresses, and hosts several large private equity houses, banks and a restaurant on the 42nd floor which is often frequented by some of the City of London’s most astute financial services executives. It is therefore highly unlikely to be home to a small binary options brand.
Close examination of the final few sentences of the Mayfair 23st website reveal that the company is attempting to emulate long established venture capital and investment company Scottish Equity Partners, by stating “MayFair23.com is a trademark of the SEP Union LTD, The MayFair23 Excess of FSCS Insurance is subject to the Terms and Conditions of the policy wording, eligibility to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme depends on the nature and status of the claim.”
This dialog clearly refers to insurance policies and not to electronic trading, and explicitly uses the trade name “SEP Union LTD”.
In order to ensure that customers are sufficiently dissuaded from entering into transactions with this particular firm, the FCA has published its corporate website, https://mayfair23.com/ as well as ensuring to notify the investing public to be mindful when receiving emails from firstname.lastname@example.org
The FCA points out that Mayfair 23st has no association with the FCA regulated venture capital firm Scottish Equity Partners (SEP).
Mayfair23st is claiming that it is a subsidiary of SEP and that it is audited by SEP. This is not true.
Scottish Equity Partners is authorised by the FCA and is authorised to offer, promote or sell services or products in the UK and its correct details are:
Firm name: Scottish Equity Partners LLP (SEP)
Firm reference number: 482807
Address: 17 Blythswood Square, Glasgow, Lanarkshire G2 4AD
In this case, detailed observation has been demonstrated by the FCA, to the greater good of the investing public.