Cloned firms are the criminal’s way of getting past the due-diligence and authentication checks it’s expected people will undertake, before making an investment. By pretending to be a legitimate firm the potential investor will get a positive response when they:
• Check the firm is regulated by the FCA
• Investigate online reviews on the company
• Receive legitimate looking documentation
Criminals are aware ‘cold calling’ tactics are widely warned about now and have moved on to other methods to find their next victims. For example, they may host fake comparison sites that give the impression you found the investment yourself, meaning it’s less likely to be considered a scam.
Always use the contact details on the FCA Register, not the details the firm gives you. You should also check the firm’s details with directory enquiries or Companies House to make sure they’re the same.