deVere United Kingdom warns against clone scams
deVere United Kingdom is aware that it is the victim of an elaborate cloning scam.
For more than two years, we have been warning of the rise of so-called clone companies whose employees contact individuals and claim to be from highly successful, respected, fully authorised, regulated and licenced financial advisory firms such as deVere.
Typically, these scammers cold call investors to promote investments that are worthless, overpriced or perhaps even non-existent.
It has become clear that scammers are using the identity of deVere United Kingdom to dupe unsuspecting people into investing large amounts of their life savings based on their so-called ‘advice’, often using aggressive sales tactics.
The fraudsters are going to extraordinary lengths to make their scam look genuine. They are adopting a company name and address which could easily be mistaken for our legitimate ones, they are designing websites, stationery, and business cards to appear like our legitimate ones, and some are even going as far as impersonating our legitimate advisers.
Unfortunately, this type of scam is becoming increasingly common and deVere United Kingdom is not the only advisory and investment firm to fall victim to clone firms.
Cloning is extremely dangerous for would-be investors because they will not be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme or the Financial Ombudsman Service as the clones are totally unregulated.
Of course, it is also highly damaging to those respected wealth management firms, such as deVere United Kingdom, which work hard to develop and maintain a reputation for excellence, good business practice, and robust corporate governance.
In addition, these clone scams could also undermine confidence in the wider financial advisory industry, which could discourage people from seeking the important financial advice they need to reach their long-term financial objectives.
deVere United Kingdom urges that those who suspect that they might have been contacted by a clone firm, should call the FCA and/or deVere United Kingdom at their earliest opportunity on 0845 224 0035 (deVere United Kingdom).
The FCA has previously issued a list of steps to help investors avoid being duped by clone firms. These include:
- Check the FCA register to ensure the firm and individuals are regulated.
- Call the firms back and ask for their firm reference number and contact details.
- Make additional checks on the company’s website, with Companies House and directory enquiries.
- Search the FCA’s list of unauthorised firms.
deVere has been active in publicising this threat by securing articles in The Daily Express, Aol Money, FT Adviser, Professional Adviser, Financial Reporter, Fund Strategy, MoneyWise, amongst many others.
On the 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 03333 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 a boiler room scam, which we will report to our 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.