Scammers may say they work for us to try and get you to reveal important personal and financial information. Find out how to spot and avoid this type of scam.
In 2020, there was an increase of 73% in ‘fake authority’ scams reported to us.
‘Fake authority’ is a type of scam where fraudsters claim to be from the FCA. They may also claim to be from the Financial Services Authority (FSA), the organisation that previously regulated financial services in the UK.
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 banking account PINs and passwords.
On rare occasions, we may call you in connection with ongoing investigations. In those cases, we may ask for some personal details, to confirm your identity or for the purposes of the investigation and/or proceedings.
If you’re in any doubt, please check whether you’re speaking to a genuine FCA employee by contacting our consumer helpline.
Find out more about how to protect yourself from this type of scam, or:
- learn about common fake FCA email addresses and other communications
- read about other types of scams
- check the Financial Services Register to find genuine contact details for firms
How fake FCA correspondence works
You may receive 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 taken from our website or publications, to make you think that the communication is genuine.
The fraudsters may claim:
- you owe us money
- you are entitled to some money and we need your bank account details to make the payment
- we are investigating your bank or other financial institution, and need you to move your money to another account for security reasons
Scammers may ask you for personal information, such as copies of your payslips or passport, bank account details or internet banking passwords. Never give out your PIN number or passwords.
Contact us directly if you have any concerns. Do not use the contact details on any correspondence received, as these could also be fake.
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 very small changes or extra punctuation.
Always check the URL of a website you visit to make sure it matches our own (www.fca.org.uk) and always access the FS Register from our website, rather than through external links.
Find out more about some of the common fake communications and email addresses we’re aware of.
Social media accounts
Beware of other social media accounts claiming to represent the FCA.
We own the following official social media accounts.
- Facebook (ScamSmart) www.facebook.com/FCAScamSmart
- LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/company/financial-conduct-authority, www.linkedin.com/showcase/transforming-culture
- Twitter twitter.com/TheFCA, twitter.com/FCAInsight, twitter.com/FCACymru
- YouTube www.youtube.com/user/TheFCAtv
If you see another social media account claiming to represent us, it’s probably a scam.
We would never contact you asking for money or your bank account PIN or password. If someone does, it’s likely to be a scam.
If you think you have been contacted by scammers pretending to be us, we strongly advise that you don’t respond to the criminals in any way.
Instead, call our consumer helpline on 0800 111 6768.
More fake communication scams
Fraudsters may also claim to be from other organisations, such as:
Scammers may ask for your personal details or money.
You should also beware of emails or calls claiming to be from HMRC and offering a tax rebate. HMRC never calls or emails about tax rebates. It also never asks for personal or payment information over the phone or via email.
For more information, see HMRC’s examples of phishing emails.