The dubious practice of ‘cloning’ has been a matter upon which British financial markets regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has concentrated for quite some time now.
Often, the subjects of ‘cloning’ are small to medium sized bona fide financial services companies in Britain, whose websites and company names are emulated by bogus companies in an attempt to dupe unsuspecting potential customers into thinking that they are doing business with a well known and legitimate company, when the actual reality is that the firm is an impostor and has no connection whatsoever with any such bona fide company.
Today, the FCA has issued a warning that investment giant BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK) has become the subject of a clone.
Whereas operators of clone websites often target smaller businesses such as wealth managers or financial services companies in Britain on which to style themselves, this particular instance involves a company which operates using the name BlackRock Advisors (UK) Limited. The clone firm uses the same address and the same FCA Firm Reference Number (FRN) as the genuine firm.
The FCA warns that potential investors should remain aware that these scammers may give out other false details or mix these with some correct details of the authorised firm.
Full details of the FCA authorised firm
This FCA authorised firm that fraudsters are claiming to work for has no association with the ‘clone firm’. It is authorised to offer, promote or sell services or product in the UK and its correct details are:
Firm name: BlackRock Advisors (UK) Limited
Firm reference number: 119186
Address: 12 Throgmorton Avenue, London, UK, EC2N 2DL
The FCA emphasizes that these details are correct and pertain to the London office of the global investment giant BlackRock, and therefore potential investors should only deal with this particular company rather than the bogus entity.
In this case, it is certainly clear that not only small to medium firms are the target of cloners, but large international companies too.
For the official announcement from the FCA, click here.