THE CITY watchdog has issued a warning to consumers about a clone of peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle.
The clone, Funding Circle Loans, had set up a website purporting to be the P2P platform.
Its website, http://fundingcircle.bravesites.com, has since been suspended.
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“Almost all firms and individuals carrying out financial services activities in the UK have to be authorised or registered by us,” the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said in a statement on its website on Tuesday.
“This firm is not authorised or registered by us but has been targeting people in the UK, claiming to be an authorised firm.
“This is what we call a ‘clone firm’; and fraudsters usually use this tactic when contacting people out of the blue, so you should be especially wary if you have been cold called. They may use the name of the genuine firm, the ‘firm reference number’ we have given the authorised firm or other details.”
A Funding Circle spokesperson said no customers are believed to have been affected.
“We were aware of this and the FCA posted the warning with our agreement,” the spokesperson said.
“The website in the statement has already been taken down and no customers have reported as being affected.
“Funding Circle has dedicated information security and fraud teams, who are constantly working to ensure our business and customers are protected.”