Fraudsters target SJP clients in clone scam offering advice

Clone scammers have targeted St. James’s Place (SJP) customers by pretending to be a fake bond website and acting as an adviser from the advice giant. Professional fixed income investor and campaigner Mark Taber spotted the scam and has reported it to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and SJP. Scammers appeared to be acting as a fake SJP adviser…

Attack of the clone firms: over £78 million stolen in ‘clone’ firm investment scams

New warning from Action Fraud, the City of London Police and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Number of ‘clone firm’ investment scams reported increased by 29% as UK went into first lockdown Victims scammed out of more than £45,000 each, on average 77% of investors do not know or are unsure what a ‘clone investment firm’ is FCA and Action Fraud advise investors to only use contact details on the FCA Register to help avoid ‘clone firm’ scams Action Fraud and the City of London Police are working with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to issue a warning to the public, as reports of ‘clone firm’ investment scams increased by…

Investors lose £78m as lockdown sees ‘clone fraud’ surge

Clone fraud victims lost £78m to scammers pretending to be legitimate financial services businesses in 2020 with reports to authorities rocketing during the first national lockdown, Action Fraud data revealed. On average people lost more than £45,000 to online fraudsters, according to the data which also showed reports of cloned firms increased almost 30% from April to March last year as scammers took advantage…

WARNING: Criminals continue to take advantage of coronavirus vaccine roll-out as phishing email reports soar

Action Fraud is raising awareness of another coronavirus vaccine scam, after it received a high volume of reports relating to a phishing email on Monday 25 January. The email, which attempts to trick people into handing over their bank details, was reported more than 1,000 times in 24 hours. It appears to come from the NHS and asks the recipient to click on a link to accept or decline an invitation to receive the coronavirus vaccine. If they click accept, they are asked to input personal information and their bank card details. The national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime has previously warned about coronavirus vaccine scams, with…

Facebook gets paid

Two years ago, a handful of Facebook employees began to raise internal alarms about a series of advertisements appearing in their news feeds. Purchased by a then up-and-coming lip-synching app called Musical.ly — now known as TikTok — the ads featured teenage girls provocatively gyrating to music in short video clips. Curious as to why he and his colleagues were seeing ads ostensibly meant for young girls, one Facebook employee, who was also a father, dug into the company’s advertising system at the time to determine what was going on. What he discovered wasn’t an error, but Facebook’s advertising system working as intended. The social network’s algorithms had been optimizing the…

Cybercrime To Cost The World $10.5 Trillion Annually By 2025

If it were measured as a country, then cybercrime — which is predicted to inflict damages totaling $6 trillion USD globally in 2021 — would be the world’s third-largest economy after the U.S. and China. Cybersecurity Ventures expects global cybercrime costs to grow by 15 percent per year over the next five years, reaching $10.5 trillion USD annually by 2025, up from $3 trillion USD in 2015. This represents the greatest transfer of economic wealth in history, risks the incentives for innovation and investment, is exponentially larger than the damage inflicted from natural disasters in a year, and will be more profitable than the global trade of all major illegal drugs combined. The damage cost estimation is…

FCA scam warnings rise over 300% in five years

So far in 2020, the FCA has issued 1,031 scam warnings involving individual attempts to defraud consumers – an 80% increase on the amount of warnings in 2019 and a 301% increase on the number published in 2015, according to analysis by Quilter. Of these, 401 were scams involving a ‘clone’ of a legitimate financial services firm, usually to market non-existent investment products to consumers through fake websites and paid adverts on search engines. There have been 34% more ‘clone’ warnings so far in 2020 than 2019, and 261% more than in 2015. Scams involving an impersonation now constitute 45% of all FCA warnings issued since 2015. There…

BEC Wire Transfer Losses Soar 48% in Q2 2020

Wire transfer losses from Business Email Compromise (BEC) have soared by over 48% from the previous quarter to hit an average of more than $80,000, according to Agari. The security vendor’s findings were revealed in the latest Phishing Activity Trends Report from the Anti Phishing Working Group (APWG). Agari noted that BEC losses involved in bank transfer attacks jumped significantly from the $54,000 recorded in the first quarter, although these accounted for just 18% of total attacks. Gift cards were the most popular way for scammers to monetize attacks, with BEC attackers requesting these in two-thirds (66%) of raids. Cards from eBay, Google Play, Apple iTunes, and Steam Wallet accounted for the vast majority…

Fake HSBC Clone Draws Warning from City Regulator

The FCA said the scammers are using a fake website as part of the scam. Fraudsters are trying to scam consumers out of money by pretending to represent the UK banking giant HSBC, the FCA has said in a warning notice today. The copycat scam is the latest in a line of clone firm warnings issued by the City watchdog in recent months. A post on the regulator’s website says that the “clone firm” scammers are using the HSBC brand as a way to get people to hand over details or money. The FCA says: “Fraudsters are using the details of firms we authorise to try to convince…

Spoofing emails: The trickery costing businesses billions

The email came in like any other, from the company chief executive to his finance officer. “Hey, the deal is done. Please wire $8m to this account to finalise the acquisition ASAP. Needs to be done before the end of the day. Thanks.” The employee thought nothing of it and sent the funds over, ticking it off his list of jobs before heading home. But alarm bells started to ring when the company that was being acquired called to ask why it had not received the money. An investigation began – $8m was most definitely sent, but where to? We will never know. Some of the money was…

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