Switzerland’s forex bank and broker, Dukascopy has alerted the market and consumers to a clone of its authorised brand. The website, which remains active, is impersonating the genuine investment firm in an attempt to deceive people into handing over their hard-earned money.
The clone entity, operating through the domain https://dukascopygroup.com, prompted action from the regulated company.
As of the time of publication, the fake Dukascopygroup has taken down all website pages, and the aforementioned link only leads to the member login page. It’s not clear if the site was taken down as a result of the warning or leading up to it.
But according to a cached version of its website, the copycat broker was seemingly focused on offering cryptocurrency products to Thai speakers.
Dukascopy’s cryptocurrency business was a major focus for clone firm scams as the pandemic has made people more susceptible due to concerns about personal finances. The company has been taking steps towards strengthening its cryptocurrency offering, including allowing clients to deposit and withdraw funds in digital coins, as well as enabling free internal crypto transfers between users of mobile banking.
Dukascopy confirmed that it has no association whatsoever with the aforementioned domains and advised everyone to avoid it entirely. The broker is one of a number of FX firms whose branding has been appropriated by scammers on many occasions, though they never make cold approaches encouraging people to invest.
“Please be aware that this website is not controlled and does not belong to Dukascopy Bank, Dukascopy Europe, Dukascopy Japan or any other entity of Dukascopy Group. Do not trust any information to be found on the website. Do not provide any personal data on this website. We are taking action against this fraudulent webpage,” the statement reads.
With over £78 million stolen in ‘clone firm’ investment scams in the UK alone and the number of reports for this scam type on the rise, fraudsters are always changing ways in which they convince people to part with their money or sensitive information.
Global regulators say scammers are becoming ever more sophisticated, targeting victims with professional looking websites and messages through social media channels. The most commonly reported thefts involved investments in shares and bonds, foreign exchange and cryptocurrencies.
Scammers are also using branding from legitimate, regulated companies and even cloned websites to solicit people to make investments. Once victims have registered their interest, they’ll be contacted by the fraudsters, who often obtain the names of genuine employees of investment firms and create seemingly legitimate company email addresses, but with very subtle changes. As such, even the most sophisticated of investors could be at risk of falling victim to a clone scam.