UK Regulator Sounds the Alarm over Crypto Clone Company

Alph Capital falsely claims to be an officially registered company, aiming to steal investors’ money, the FCA has said.

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has added a new cryptocurrency-related company to its list of clone firms. Alph Capital uses details of an FCA-registered entity with the goal to lure trusting investors, the regulator has warned.

Alph Capital clones Alph Capital Limited, a London-headquartered investment company, the FCA said on Friday. The fake enterprise claims to be based in London but targets French-speaking investors. It offers trading in euro for Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), XRP (XRP), Litecoin (LTC), NEM (XEM), Dash (DASH), IOTA (MIOTA), and Monero (XMR). Alph Capital says that Visa, MasterCard, American Express, PayPal, and Discover support its services. However, the logos of those payment processors are static and do not redirect to their websites, which is the standard practice in similar partnerships.

“Fraudsters are using or giving out the following details as part of their tactics to scam people in the UK: Alph Capital (clone of FCA authorised firm). Address: 10 Brick Street, London, W1J 7HQ. Website: Be aware that the scammers may give out other false details or mix these with some correct details of the registered firm,” the FCA warning notice says.

According to the regulator, imitation of real authorization is one of the new illegal schemes as fraudsters seek to steal money from investors with models that are different from traditional ones. In the cloning scheme, criminals use a reference number (FRN) and other similar details from the FCA register to convince citizens that their business is genuine.

UK laws oblige companies that advertise, promote, and sell any investment product to possess an official permit from the market agency. To verify the FRN, investors can check it by calling 0800 111 6768.

“You should access the Register directly from rather than through links in emails or on the website of a firm offering you an investment. Also check the address of our website is correct and there are not subtle changes that mean it is a fake,” the FCA says in its clone protection guidance.

In recent months, the financial regulator has issued several similar crypto clone warnings.

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