The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a warning over a website impersonating accountancy firm Smith and Williamson.
The firm said it became aware of a website impersonating the company and using its name for “potential fraudulent activities”, and confirmed ‘smithandwilliamsonline’ is not Smith and Williamson businesses.
The regulator said nearly all firms and individuals carrying out financial services activities in the UK have to be authorised or registered by the FCA, and that the ‘clone’ firm in question is not authorised or registered and has been targeting people in the UK, claiming to be an authorised firm.
According to the FCA, fraudsters usually use this tactic when contacting people out of the blue, and urged people to be “especially wary” if they have been cold called.
A statement by Smith and Williamson read: “We urge any potential investors to exercise extreme caution. Stay alert to the dangers of investment fraud, even if documents or websites appear legitimate and refer to genuine products. Smith & Williamson can take no responsibility for any potential losses you may incur.
“We have notified Action Fraud and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This matter will now be handled by them in conjunction with local law enforcement.”
The FCA said fraudsters are using or giving out the following details as part of their tactics to scam people in the UK:
Smith & Williams PLC trading as Smith and Williams Online (clone of FCA authorised firm)
Address: Portland House, Bressenden Place, Victoria, London SW1E 5BH
Telephone: 07452 286051
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Website: www.smithandwilliamsonline.com, www.sandw-online.com
It also urged people to be aware that the scammers may give out other false details or mix these with some correct details of the registered firm.