Warning issued by regulator over 'clone firm' using fake MoneySavingExpert and Martin Lewis email addresses
The financial regulator has warned consumers to beware of fraudulent emails from scammers pretending to be MoneySavingExpert.com or our founder Martin Lewis, after identifying a copycat firm falsely using our name.
The alert from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), issued today, warns people to avoid dealing with what it calls the 'clone firm'. It's understood the clone firm sent emails claiming to be from MoneySavingExpert.com (MSE) and Martin Lewis offering savings accounts with eye-catching rates. The emails were sent from:
- firstname.lastname@example.org and
But these addresses have nothing to do with us. MSE will never, ever, EVER cold-call. We're a consumer help website, here to fight your corner. We won't send out emails except our weekly newsletter or those you'd get if you're signed up to one of our services. Nor will we ever send anyone to call you or knock on your door. Beware of all of them.
Clone firms use real firms' details - including ours - as a scam tactic
Companies need to be authorised by the FCA in order to sell, promote or advise on certain financial products. A 'clone firm' is the technical term the FCA uses for a company which ISN'T authorised by the regulator but contacts people claiming to be from an authorised firm. Fraudsters often use the details of firms the FCA authorises to try to convince people that they work for a genuine, authorised firm.
Scammers may use the name of a genuine firm, its 'firm reference number', which shows it is registered with the FCA, and other details to try and mislead customers. They may also mix false details with some correct details of the registered firm.
For more information on how clone firms work, and ways to protect yourself against this type of scam, see the FCA's help page.
What to do if you're contacted by someone claiming to be us
If you think you have been approached by an unauthorised or clone firm, or contacted about a scam, you should report it to the FCA online or contact the FCA's consumer helpline on 0800 111 6768.
If you've already responded to a scam, end all further communication immediately, call your bank directly, and report the scam to the police through Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or report a scam anonymously on its website.
If you wish to seek further advice, contact Citizens Advice Scam Action through its website, or call its online scams helpline on 0808 250 5050.
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