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FCA scam warnings for the year surpass 1000

The number of scam warnings issued by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) this year has passed 1000, as fraudsters continue to try and take advantage of  Covid-19 financial support schemes.  

According to the Financial Times, data collated by consultancy group Lang Cat has revealed the FCA has issued 1003 warnings in the 43 weeks ending in October.

The level of scams is believed to have peaked this September when the FCA reported 43 scams, clones and unauthorised firms in just under 7 days. 

In August the authority made public that it was investigating more than 150  coronavirus-related scams since the outbreak began in March, with many scammers pretending to pose as HMRC workers trying to fraud company owners seeking Covid-19 relief grants. 

It is believed that the most of the attempted criminal activity was carried out via email, phone call, text and social media. 

Mike Barrett, consulting director at the Lang Cat told, FT: “I think this is the most important issue facing our sector, and everyone, advisers, providers, the media, need to play their part to solve it.

“With over 1000 warnings year to date it’s clear that the problem is out of control, and the FCA simply can’t cope with the scale, not least since many of these warnings are directed against firms who sit outside their regulatory perimeter.

“Somehow we’ve got to address this issue, especially as more and more people are likely to become financially vulnerable over the coming months.”

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