A new wave of fraudsters claiming to be from fully authorised firms are bombarding individuals across Britain with calls offering bogus financial products, warns one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations.
The warning from Mike Coady, Managing Director at deVere United Kingdom, part of the deVere Group, comes in response to a new series of complaints the firm has recently received from clients who suspect they have been contacted by scammers.
MrCoady comments: “Once again, we have become aware of a group of con artists that is calling our clients, usually several times over a short period of time, masquerading as deVere United Kingdom, and trying to sell them wholly dubious financial products.
“As has happened several times over the last three years, the clone fraudsters typically adopt a near identical company name and branding to that of deVere United Kingdom, which is a fully authorised, regulated and licenced entity.
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“Some are now even using fake FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) numbers that are similar to our bona fide one.”
He continues: “There seems to be a uniformed approach to how they operate. In the first call they never try and sell anything, it is, as they tell the clients, just a ‘taster’. However, they claim to have cash ISAs paying 4 or 5 per cent and corporate bonds paying 6 to 7 per cent, and these are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.”
One client who was approached says: “Today I got details of what was being offered by the scam group: a one year bond for me at 6.25 per cent and a one year ISA for my wife at 4.75 per cent, both of which involve the transfer of funds to a bank in Denmark and no doubt from there to who knows where but probably someplace without extradition.”
Mike Coady concludes: “If you suspect that you have been contacted by a bogus firm, you need to report your suspicions to the FCA and to Action Fraud.
“I would urge people across Britain to be extra cautious if they receive a cold call offering financial products. If money is handed over to a cloned or unauthorised firm, you will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) or Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if things aren’t legitimate.
“deVere United Kingdom or deVere Group do not handle client money – do not send anything to an account in these names.”