The UK Financial Conduct Authority has put out a press release that warns about a new ‘clone firm’ investment scam impersonating Sydney-based IC Markets, a provider of FX services and ECN trading capabilities.
In a statement on its website, the regulator said the unauthorised clone firm is going under the name of ICMarketPro, operating through the domains www.icm-market.com, www.i-cmarketz.com, www.icmarketpro.com, www.ic-forexmarket.com.
The copycat broker has chosen to operate under a name similar enough to IC Markets to convince potential clients that it was the authorized online trading firm that had contacted them.
This also provides an easy hunting ground for clone scams who target victims via paid-for adverts. As such, the City watchdog undertakes proactive monitoring, almost on a daily basis, to identify potential scams and provides search engines and social media networks with details of the alerts it issued. It also works closely with domain registrars to make it more difficult for cloned websites to stay online, and remove them as quickly as possible.
The warning is another step in the FCA’s tireless efforts to crack down on unregulated firms posing as legitimate approved businesses with full force. The regulator has previously issued warnings against similar companies, urging the public to beware of firms working outside the law and without the proper necessary approvals and licenses.
The City watchdog urges people to be extra vigilant to the threat of investment scammers after victims lost over £78 million in 2021 – £45,000 each on average. As such, the FCA tells investors to check its register before doing business with any investment platform.
IC Markets is a multi-regulated brokerage firm that had reported over $10 trillion in total trading volume for 2021, with incredibly strong results in a wide range of asset classes. Much of solid turnover seen at FX platforms was driven by retail investors, who are continuing the high level of engagement.
On the regulatory front, the Sydney-based broker is authorised to offer its products in Europe since 2019. It has launched operations in Cyprus three years ago after it secured a CySEC license to begin a more Europe-oriented business and, obviously, attract more customers.
IC Markets has recently signed partnerships with 12 football teams that make up the Spain’s La Liga and Germany’s Bundesliga professional leagues for the remainder of the 2021-22 season.
The company has been aggressively strengthening its offering over the past few months. It also continues to add new cryptocurrencies to its growing suite.