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Screenshot of a breaking news alert e-mail from Q2 2017
British regulatory authority warns against another clone of a bona fide firm as the latest in an increasing wave of firms attempting to dupe clients by using similar names
Imitation, as the well-worn adage goes, is the finest form of flattery. That is, if the imitation intends no harm.
Quite the opposite, in fact, to the emulation of bona fide FX firms by imposters which establish websites in order to attract business by playing on the unfortunate aspect of human nature in which not every potential client has the same eye for detail.
Yesterday, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warned potential investors that there is a clone website, which has the URL https://en.iafcap.com which bears no relation whatsoever in terms of its corporate structure or ownership to the established and FCA authorized London-based firm IAF Capital Limited.
The genuine IAF Capital is a Bond Street-based corporate finance advisory company which also provides asset management services, whereas the bogus imposter is quite clearly a retail FX firm which offers MetaTrader 4 to retail clients, therefore representing an entirely different market segment.
The cloned website which is subject to the FCA warning states that it is under the auspices of the FCA, and even lists a National Futures Association (NFA) license number on its site, giving the impression that it is also licensed in North America, as well as providing a New Bond Street address. Despite this, the FCA’s warning emphasizes that the firm is not authorized to conduct its business within the jurisdiction.
In its warning, the FCA makes it clear that these two firms are not connected and that care should be exercised not to mistake the purported retail FX firm for the genuine IAF Capital.
There has been a succession of attempts by firms to emulate long-standing regulated financial services and electronic trading companies recently, mostly via this method.
It therefore is clear that in today’s world of technological solutions to regulatory matters, one of the most simple means of attempting to dupe the investing public is still as prolific as ever.