Fraudsters sometimes pretend to work for us, so if you’re unsure, it’s important to check. Find out how to spot fake FCA emails, phone calls, and websites.First published: 18/02/2021 Last updated: 23/08/2023 See all updates
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Scammers will try anything to get you to hand over important personal information, they may even say they work for us.
You may get an email, letter or phone call from someone claiming to be from the FCA. They may use the name of an employee, our logo, or other images from our website, to make you think the communication is genuine.
They may also claim to be from the Financial Services Authority (FSA), the organisation that previously regulated financial services in the UK.
When we may contact you
On rare occasions, we may call you if we think:
- you can help in an investigation
- you’ve been a victim of financial crime
On those occasions, we may ask you for some personal details, including your contact details. But if you’re concerned about who you’re speaking to, please do contact us on 0800 111 6768. Our team won’t mind waiting for you to check.
How fake FCA correspondence works
Scammers may ask you for personal information, including copies of your payslips or passport, bank account details or internet banking passwords.
They may claim:
- you owe us money
- you’re entitled to money, and we need your bank account details to make the payment
- we’re investigating your bank or another provider, and we need you to move your money to another account for security reasons
It’s important to remember that we would never ask you to transfer money to us. We would also never ask for sensitive banking information, such as bank account PINs and passwords.
How to spot a fake FCA communication
Look for signs that the email, letter or phone call may not be from us.
- Phone calls could be from a mobile or overseas number.
- An email address could be from a Hotmail, Outlook or Gmail account.
- Communications may contain spelling mistakes and poor grammar.
- Website addresses and social media accounts may contain small changes from our genuine sites, or contain extra punctuation.
We send emails from addresses ending in:
We have measures in place to prevent fraudsters copying and using our email addresses. But fraudsters may use similar email addresses to make their emails appear genuine.
If an email looks suspicious, delete it without opening it.
Fake versions of our websites
Fraudsters may copy our websites and change the information. They may change our warnings pages so it looks like scam firms are authorised by us.
These cloned websites can be very convincing, with links and contact information copied from our actual website.
To make sure a website is genuine, you should check the address (URL) that appears in the address bar at the top of the webpage.
If you’re on our website, it should always begin with https://www.fca.org.uk or https://register.fca.org.uk/s/ for the Financial Services Register.
Scammers can make our switchboard numbers – 020 7066 1000, 0300 500 8082 and 0800 111 6768 – appear in your caller ID. This is known as number spoofing.
To protect yourself, don’t give out any personal information following an incoming call and don’t call back using the contact details the callers provide.
More fake communication scams
Fraudsters may claim to be from other organisations, such as:
Remember, if you’re suspicious about any calls, emails or text messages you’ve received, don’t respond until you’ve checked they’re genuine.
You should also be wary of emails or calls claiming to be from HMRC. For more information, see HMRC’s examples of phishing emails.
Report a fake FCA communication
If you’re worried about a potential scam or you think you may have been contacted by a fraudster, report it to us.
Call us on 0800 111 6768 or use our contact form to get in touch.