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Invest safely online: How to spot clone investment firms

Recently, there has been a marked increase in the number of clone investment platforms. These falsely impersonate genuine regulated businesses, with the FCA reporting such frauds have worryingly risen by 29%. We take a closer look at how to spot cloned investment scams and what you should do to protect yourself and your capital.

Fraudsters are ingenious when trying to separate you from your hard-earned cash. Cloned investment websites often use a legitimate postal address, registration number, and employee name from the company they are cloning.

If direct contact is made by phone or email, scammers will often sound convincing and professional to secure your trust and, ultimately, your money. They may also use high-pressure tactics to get you to buy fake investments. Potential victims might also be reached through adverts on social media or by using search engines, directing to a replica of the genuine company’s website.

Whatever the approach, the aim is the same: to convince you they represent a genuine company and to secure defrauded ‘investments’. Such transactions are worthless, and the FCA warns any investments made through clone firms will not be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Top-3 ways to protect yourself from scams:

1. Check the company is FCA-authorised

The FCA authorises almost all legitimate financial services companies in the UK. If the company contacting you is not authorised, it could well be a scam. As a first step, you should check the Financial Services Register to see if a company or individual is authorised. If you are contacted by a company that you are not familiar with, you should always check the register before proceeding any further.

2. Verify the company’s contact details

To make sure you are interacting with the genuine organisation, your next step should be calling them using the number on the FCA Register to avoid being caught out by a cloned website. If they contact you – especially if the call or email is unexpected – it is always safest to end the call, check the FCA register, and then call the company back on the number listed there.

If you cannot find the firm’s contact details on the FCA Register, you can double-check by calling the FCA’s helpline on 0800 111 6768. If you don’t feel comfortable then you should stop and check before taking any action.

3. Check the FCA Warning List

You can also use the FCA Warning List to see if the company is known to be fraudulent, having been previously reported to the regulator. Of course, just because a company isn’t on the FCA Warning List, it does not mean it is authentic. Unfortunately, new scammers appear regularly and existing ones will often change the cloned company name and details. If in doubt, always err on the side of caution.

What to do if you think you’ve been scammed

If you are worried that an investment you have made may be suspicious, your first step should be to call your bank using the number on the back of the debit card. Your bank will be able to advise you on the next steps. You should also report it to the FCA, either online or by calling 0800 111 6768. Further guidance can also be found at

How secure are your investments with CapitalRise?

The security of our members’ investments is our highest priority. As an FCA-regulated business, CapitalRise takes great care to ensure the security of all of our members’ data. Our website uses advanced security technology to establish an encrypted link between our web server and your browser. This link ensures that all data passed between our website and your device are encrypted and private.

All of our operations are run through our site at If you are contacted by anyone claiming to be a subsidiary of ours operating from any other domain, then this is not us.

If you’d like to talk to us, we’re available over the phone or via our live chat. You can even come down to our office and meet the team. All contact details can be found on our official ‘Contact’ page here:

Capital at risk. No FSCS protection. See key risks.