• Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Rise in Fraudsters Posing as UK’s Finance Regulator

Gary Brust

ByGary Brust

Sep 5, 2023
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Rise in UK Fraudsters

The UK’s primary financial oversight body has alerted the public about a growing trend of fraudsters masquerading as the authority.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has pointed out that these fraudsters’ main objective is to deceive individuals into providing their financial details, including bank account access data.

This year alone, the FCA’s helpline has received over 7,700 reports of such deceptive activities.

According to the FCA, there has been more than a twofold increase in these scams since 2021.

A frequent strategy employed by these deceitful individuals is to convince potential victims that they are entitled to a financial settlement. They then request banking information or a nominal fee to process this supposed “compensation”.

In a clarification, the FCA mentioned they never approach individuals in such a manner. People receiving such communications are advised to immediately disconnect the call or disregard such emails.

Always verify details

FCA’s executive director of enforcement, Steve Smart, recommended that those suspicious of being approached by a hoaxer should verify the details on the FCA’s official website.

What to do if you think you’ve been targeted? The FCA provided these guidelines:

  • Be wary of unexpected calls. If in doubt, disconnect and verify the authenticity by reaching out to the FCA at 0800 111 6768.
  • Examine the sender’s email credentials. If the email appears questionable, don’t engage and communicate directly with the FCA.
  • Poor grammar and spelling errors can be indicators of deceitful emails. If an email appears suspicious, disregard it and notify the appropriate entity or Action Fraud.
  • Even if your caller ID shows a recognized number, scammers can mimic official numbers. For safety, avoid sharing any private details during such calls and don’t call back using the provided contact info.

The FCA disclosed that it’s intensifying its focus on scams due to the increased financial pressures on households.

This disclosure follows a report from the UK Finance group which noted a staggering £1.2bn lost to fraudulent activities in the UK in 2022, equating to around £2,300 lost every minute. Payment card scams topped the list.

A recent government initiative has introduced a strategy to counter fraud. This strategy considers giving banks extended time to delay and examine dubious transactions.

Unsolicited sales calls for services

The FCA disclosed that it’s collaborating with the government on a proposition to outlaw unsolicited calls for all finance-related services and products. This implies that unsolicited sales calls for services like insurance would be prohibited.

Furthermore, the regulator has received notifications about a variety of scams, including “boiler room” operations, where unsuspecting individuals are duped into purchasing non-existent or overvalued shares. They also mentioned reports of fake investments in nonexistent digital currencies in an industry sector that remains largely unchecked and poses significant risks.

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Gary Brust

Gary Brust

Gary Brust is an accomplished writer with a passion for crafting engaging and informative content. His expertise covers a wide range of topics, making his work both versatile and captivating.

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