The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) of Germany has cautioned that people posing as employees of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK’s financial watchdog, are contacting small investors.
These con artists claim to be able to assist you to recover your stolen funds, but they want you to transfer them a large sum of money first. According to BaFin, German customers who have been duped by these people have complained to them.
“BaFin wants to make it clear that the British Financial Conduct Authority does not talk to German customers,” it said. Fraudsters have previously utilized BaFin’s name to commit fraud. “BaFin does not contact customers and urge them to submit the money,” the German regulator said.
The financial watchdog told people who had been scammed to refuse any offers or demands and to call the police or the office of the public prosecutor.
Customers may also call the BaFin consumer helpdesk at 0800 2100 500 or +49 (0) 228 299 70 299.
In 2020, the FCA recorded a 73% rise in “fake authority” fraud.
This is not the first time fraudsters have pretended to work for the UK FCA. This has gotten to the point that the British regulator has created an internet page where customers can learn about phony FCA emails, websites, letters, and phone calls.
The FCA has lately received complaints about a bogus letter purporting to be from an FCA director and claiming to be about the FCA’s examination of the “Project with a Star”. “Signs that a message may be a forgery include spelling problems and bad language,” the UK regulator warned, adding that it sends emails from addresses ending in fca.org.uk, fcanewsletters.org.uk, and fcamail.org.uk.
The FCA received 73% more reports of “fake authority” frauds in 2020. A “fake authority” scam occurs when scammers pretend to be from the FCA. They may also claim to be from the Financial Services Authority (FSA), which regulates financial services in the United Kingdom.
It is critical to understand that we would never ask you to send money to us. We would never ask for sensitive financial information like banking account PINs or passwords, “according to the FCA.” We may contact you on rare occasions in conjunction with ongoing investigations. In some cases, we may ask you for personal information to make sure you are who you say you are or for the investigation and/or procedures.
BaFin is the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority. Prior to 2002, the financial sector in Germany was regulated by three independent authorities. In May 2002, when the Financial Services and Integration Act was signed into law, BaFin was set up. The goal of both the Act and the merger of the three agencies was to create a single regulator for all financial markets that could cover all financial markets. The Federal Banking Supervisory Office, the Federal Supervisory Office for Securities Trading, and the Federal Insurance Supervisory Office merged to form the Federal Banking Supervisory Office. After the Banking Act was passed in 2003, BaFin was given more responsibilities to help protect customers and improve the reputation of the German financial sector. Extra capabilities include the ability to monitor financial firms’ creditworthiness and gather extensive information about them. The Bundesbank shared this specific area of responsibility. At the moment, BaFin is going through a change because the European Central Bank is now in charge of keeping an eye on banks.
Keep an eye out for additional regulatory updates.
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