The authorised asset manager Vanguard Investments UK is part of Vanguard group, one of the largest fund managers in the world with around $5.1trn of assets under management.
The cloned firm was listing a similar physical address to that of the authorised firm and had cloned the Vanguard website with an altered web address.
The FCA states the authentic company’s site can be found here, its phone number is 0203 753 5600, its address is 4th Floor, The Walbrook Building, 25 Walbrook, London, EC4N 8AF and its company reference number is FRN 494699.
Vanguard’s fraudulent namesake came to the attention of Money Marketing earlier this month. The regulator has now explicitly said fraudsters are behind the new company.
“Fraudsters are using or giving out the following details as part of their tactics to scam people in the UK,” it says before going on to detail the scammers phone number and company name.
“Fraudsters are using the details of firms we authorise to try to convince people that they work for a genuine, authorised firm.
“Almost all firms and individuals carrying out financial services activities in the UK have to be authorised or registered by us. This firm is not authorised or registered by us but has been targeting people in the UK, claiming to be an authorised firm.
“This is what we call a ‘clone firm’; and fraudsters usually use this tactic when contacting people out of the blue, so you should be especially wary if you have been cold called. They may use the name of the genuine firm, the ‘firm reference number’ (FRN) we have given the authorised firm or other details,” says the watchdog.
To ensure you are not conned by fake companies the FCA gives advice such as checking for the the business on the FCA Financial Services Register or the Interim Permission Register, and to also double check the contact details.