UK FCA, FOS, and Action Fraud

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Pharaoh

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UK FCA, FOS, and Action Fraud

If you are a UK resident who got scammed or if a person anywhere in the world was scammed by a company based in the UK (or pretending to be based in the UK), you should report what happened to the proper authorities there.

If a company or individual offers forex broker services (as well as nearly all other financial services) to UK residents, they legally should be registered with the UK Financial Conduct Authority (UK FCA). If they should be registered, but aren't, the FCA wants to know all about them. If they are registered and there's a problem, you'll want to start with the UK Financial Ombudsman. Any form of financial fraud should also be reported to ActionFraud. Lesser scams (like signals or EAs sold based on false information) that might not qualify for a full FCA report should also be reported to Action Fraud.

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There are two important things to keep in mind. First, a claimed UK business registration (through the UK's Companies House) is not the same as an FCA regulatory registration. The second is that even if an FCA registration exists, it may or may not belong to the person or website claiming ownership.

If a website is really registered with the FCA (or is at least attempting to fake it well), the company's name and FCA registration number should be clearly displayed in the page footer or some other obvious place (like an "About Us" page). To check FCA registrations, go here:

https://register.fca.org.uk/s/

Scroll down a little. if you are not really sure what do to, there's an instructional video. Right below it, you'll find the search box.

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If there's a reference (registration) number, enter it. If not, put the name of the company (or individual), select firms or individuals, and press the Search button.

If you can't find the number, name, or close variation of the name, chances are they are not registered. If you do find the person or company you are looking for, there's another step. The problem is that there are "Clone Firms" that "borrow" (steal) the credentials of other companies. The real Big Ben Bank could be legitimately registered at BigBenBank.co.uk, but BigBenBank.com may or may not be a clone firm. In a case like this, use the company contact info from the FCA and politely ask them if the contact info associated with the problem you have is related to them or not.

If it does turn out that your problem is with an actual UK FCA registered company, you need to file your complaint with the UK Financial Ombudsman.

https://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/consumers/how-to-complain

In general, the majority of serious problems and outright scams are from unregistered companies or falsely registered clone firms. That brings you back to the UK FCA. Their main scam contact info is at:

https://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/report-scam-us

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If you are in the UK or Europe, I suggest giving them a call. Otherwise, there's the contact form here:

https://www.fca.org.uk/contact#contact-form

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What bugs me about this form is that when you select something, there's a delay, tempting people (including me) to hit the Submit button. DON'T hit submit yet. Instead, select Consumer from the first dropdown and wait until the second dropdown appears. Then Select Scams and wait until the rest of the form appears (or read below this picture for one more option):

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Once you have the whole form filled out (conveniently, this form permits attachments), then you can hit the Submit button.

But don't forget, Action Fraud also needs a report, unless you are in Scotland. Why doesn't Action Fraud care about Scotland? I have no clue. If you are in Scotland, the instructions are to forget about Action Fraud and call the police by dialing 101.

For those in the rest of the UK, go here:

https://reporting.actionfraud.police.uk/login

Creating an account is recommended, since that lets you save a partially completed report, add information to a completed report, and more.

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I recommend registering for all the reasons they give. Since I'm not in the UK and don't have a UK related scam to report, I'm going in as a guest to get some screenshots. The first questions is:

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I'm going to select that I'm a victim. (And before anyone asks: NO, I will not ever select "reporting for a victim" and fill out your report for you. The whole purpose of this book is to help scam victims help themselves. If you want to change my mind, send a chest of gold and jewels and I will think about it.)

This brings us to choosing the type of fraud:

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If you point to Dating Fraud, it says "You formed a relationship over the internet and have been persuaded to provide financial assistance." The hottest scam this year is Pig on a plate aka Pig slaughter aka Pig butchering. That's where your hot online date doesn't hit you up for cash, but instead tries everything to get you to open a trading/investment account of some type. So that means if you are the pig on the plate, do NOT click Dating fraud. Instead, get in line with the people who ended up with a scam broker or fake investment (like a Ponzi Scheme or HYIP) and click FINANCIAL INVESTMENTS. Oh look, another selection:

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Pig on a plate, deposit only broker, broker that charges fake fees, Ponzi Scheme, and HYIP all pretty much boil down to "Investment into shares or commodities." In all these cases, all the claimed successful trading was fake. I am pleased to not that "Recovering from a previous loss" is also on the menu. That's for reporting Recovery Room Scams. For now, let's follow thee Investment path.

And it asks if a cold call was involved. Cold calling for unlicensed investments may result in additional charges, but for now. I'm looking for the report form so I'll say no. At last, the report form has emerged. I found that if I skipped ahead to item 5 on the top, it shows everything from 1-5 on a single page. It begins like this:

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The whole form collects large amounts of info. It asks what files you have, but I don't see an upload option. This is another reason to not only register, but provide good contact info.
 
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