deVere United Kingdom targeted in another clone scam
We have recently been made aware of another elaborate fraud operated by a so-called clone company, posing as deVere United Kingdom.
This time, the client in question was targeted by the scammers earlier this month to purchase a bond for £10,000 with a 6.25% annual return.
However, thanks to the client’s vigilance, deVere intervened before the fraudster was able to dupe him into investing in the dubious bond.
Typically, these clone companies cold-call investors, claiming to be from highly respected, fully authorised, regulated and licenced financial advisory firms such as deVere United Kingdom, and go to extraordinary lengths to make the fraud look as genuine as possible.
They are adopting a company name and address which could easily be mistaken for our legitimate ones; designing websites, stationery, and business cards to appear like our legitimate ones, and some are going as far as impersonating our advisers.
However, after studying several cases, there are numerous tell-tale signs to determine whether or not the company is authentic.
Crucially, any communication from someone claiming to be from deVere United Kingdom or deVere based in the UK, that doesn’t have an email address ending in @devere-uk.co.uk or @devere-group.com are fraudsters. In this most recent case, the client was contacted by someone using an @europe.com email address.
The investments offered are usually relatively small amounts – ordinarily between £2,000 and £10,000 – and short: one year programs tend to be the norm.
In addition, as was the case with this latest scam – the client targeted was told to transfer monies to Copenhagen – the bank accounts where investors are instructed to wire funds are in unusual places for a UK-based financial advisory firm.
Another sign to watch out for is if the clone company logo can be ‘stretched’ and appear out of focus.
To further advise the public, on the deVere United Kingdom website we have issued this warning:
“We are aware that deVere United Kingdom and associated Group companies have been cloned and UK residents are being contacted by a fraudulent company/companies, using our company details, images and London office address. If you have any communication from anyone using the email addresses that DO NOT end in @devere-uk.co.uk or @devere-group.com, please contact us as soon as possible on firstname.lastname@example.org or directly by telephone on +44 3333 44 9520.
In addition to the above, we have also been made aware of unsolicited calls being made by unscrupulous organisations that claim to have been recommended to contact individuals following details being passed from deVere United Kingdom.
What follows is usually an invitation to invest in a European IPO – often a recognised name, frequently an airline. If you are contacted in this way, please DO NOT allow the call to continue, take the person’s details and refer this back to us via the contact details we provide above. It is likely to be a boiler room scam, which we will report to the regulator. deVere United Kingdom does not share client data with third party companies, so being contacted in this way will not be as a result of an introduction from us.
These scams are becoming increasingly common, and, fundamentally, would-be investors who are conned out of their hard-earned savings will not be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme or the Financial Ombudsman Service as the clones are totally unregulated.
This type of fraud could also weaken confidence in the financial advisory industry, which could dissuade people from seeking the important financial advice they need to reach their long-term financial goals.
As such, deVere reports all suspected fraud cases to the Financial Conduct Authority, and I would urge anyone who suspects that they might have been contacted by a clone firm, to contact deVere United Kingdom immediately on +44 3333 44 9520, as well as the Financial Conduct Authority and Action Fraud.