Scamwatch: FCA warns on fake emails

Beware messages from criminals posing as the regulator.

Scamwatch: FCA warns on fake emails

Stay one step ahead of the fraudsters with our series of articles giving you the lowdown on the scams they use to trick people out of their hard-earned cash - and how to avoid being taken in by them.

This week, we report on a new email fraud warning from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

How does it work?

The FCA has issued a statement warning people and businesses to be on their guard after learning of a series of fake emails that appear to be from the regulator but are in fact sent out by criminals.

The latest emails arrived in inboxes earlier this week and include messages sent from fcafees@fca.org.uk with the subject "Overdue balance" and from fca.updates@fca.org.uk with the subject "FCA business update" or "Blacklisted FX firms".

The FCA said: "Keep in mind that we would never contact members of the public asking for money or your bank account details.

"The correspondence is likely to be linked to organised fraud and we strongly advise you not to respond to the criminals in any way."

How can I avoid being caught out?

As explained above, the best way to deal with suspicious emails is to delete them without sending any response, or clicking on any links within the text.

Ways to spot a fake email include checking for poor spelling or grammar, as well as checking the address or contact details given.

"Look for signs that the email, letter or phone call may not be from us, such as it listing a mobile or overseas contact phone number, an email address from a hotmail or gmail account, or a foreign PO Box number," the FCA said.

I've been defrauded. What should I do?

If you are unsure whether an email which appears to be from the FCA is genuine, you should contact the regulator on a number sourced directly from the FCA website (and not from the email) to check.

You can also report fraud of any kind to Action Fraud (0300 123 2040).