We believe fraudsters are using the details of an authorised firm to try to convince people that they are genuine. See how to protect yourself from scammers of this ‘cloned firm’.
We have received reports that fraudsters are using the name or other details of a genuine firm, or the ‘firm reference number’ (FRN) we give to authorised firms, to try to scam people in the UK.
This is what we call a 'cloned firm', and fraudsters are using this tactic to make their claims seem genuine or to suggest they work for an authorised firm.
The details that scammers are using or giving out to people include:
Charles Schwab (Clone of FCA Authorised Firm)
Address: 3/2, Mörfelder Strasse 113., D-65451 Kelsterbach, Frankfurt, Germany
Tel: 0203 371 85966, 0203 371 8976
Fax: 0208 328 7255
This genuine firm has no association whatsoever with the ‘cloned firm’. It is authorised to offer, promote or sell financial services or products in the UK:
Charles Schwab UK Limited
FCA Firm Registration Number: 225116
Companies House Number: 04709153
Address: London Investor Centre, 10 King William Street, London, EC4N 7TW
How to protect yourself
We strongly advise you to only deal with financial firms that are authorised by us, and check the Financial Services Register to ensure they are. It has information on firms and individuals that are, or have been, regulated by us.
The Register also includes firms that are regulated in a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) and offer financial services or products in the UK. These firms are said to be ‘EEA authorised’.
To verify the identity of an authorised firm, ask for the ‘firm reference number’ we give them and their contact details, but always call them back on the switchboard number given on the Register.
If there are no contact details on the Register or the firm claims they are out of date, contact our Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768.
Fraudsters often adapt their tactics so you should make additional checks to confirm you are dealing with the genuine, authorised firm and have the correct contact details – especially if you have been cold-called.
You should also be aware that if you give money to an unauthorised or cloned firm, you will not be covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if things go wrong.
Report a cloned firm
If you think you have been approached by an unauthorised or cloned firm, or contacted about a scam, you should contact our Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768. If you were offered, bought or sold shares, you can use our share fraud reporting form.
You can see more ways to report an unauthorised firm and find out what to do if you have been scammed.
What to do if your firm is cloned
If you think your authorised firm has been cloned or scammers are fraudulently using your name or other details, you should contact our Firm Helpline on 0845 606 9966 (call rates may vary).