LONDON (Reuters) – Some of London’s top hedge funds and asset managers are among those to have been targeted by rogue internet entrepreneurs, who have a clone and their names and websites in an effort to be a part of unsuspecting investors of their money.
FILE PHOTO – the Silhouette of the laptop users have seen in addition to a projection screen, the object code can be seen in this photo illustration, March 28, 2018. REUTERS/dado Ruvic/Illustration
The high number of warnings from a leading regulator, the FCA, about one a day so far this year, underlining the concern in the industry over the course of the sham internet site.
Even though a few are known to have fallen for the fakes so far, Winton, and Algebris, which was supported by two of Europe’s most prominent investors, and in the past few weeks, is among the highest-profile names that are to be taken as the crooks grow bolder.
As the regulator warns of scammers usually use the name of a real company, is to launch a website with a similar design to that of the original.
He was warned about clones, sites of Algebris the united kingdom, which was founded by Italian investor Davide Serra, and the Winton Group, which was established by the British billionaire David Harding in January and February, respectively.
The cases came to light as the British government, which, in the light of new legislation to address the rogue online operators, on Wednesday said it was able to appoint a telecoms regulator Ofcom to police the industry.
Winton made a complaint to the FCA, after a web site called wintonfinance.com it was set up, according to a person familiar with the matter. That web site is no longer active.
In a separate incident, a video is defined as a conversation between Winton Harding is the founder and Bitsmax, which on its website describes itself as a UK-certified investment platform for cryptocurrencies, has been posted on YouTube on the 26th of December, by one account, wearing Bitsmax name. Reuters could not confirm, that the owner of the account.
In the video, it was, in fact, of the Strength to speak at an investment conference, said the person, who is familiar with the subject matter.
Bitsmax, could not be reached for comment.
The video is available online until Monday, when a spokesman for YouTube owner Google said the video had been removed after he was contacted by Reuters.
The source close to Winton said the company had spent weeks trying to get it removed. The spokesperson for Google declined to comment further.
The FCA issued a warning against the Bitsmax on Tuesday. Winton had been on the Alert. 5 and posted a warning to its customers via its website Bitsmax a claim of false association of the company and its founder, or, in a more general warning on Twitter on Feb. 3.
MORE AND MORE OFTEN
The FCA has an additional 40 alerts that have been cloned sites, so far this year, compared with 365 last year, and 303 in 2018, and 111 in 2017.
Among others, warned about over the last month, were off-limit companies, who claim to be affiliated with Natixis’s Investment Managers, Aviva Investors Global Services and Redhedge the Asset Management business.
“It is the cloning of web sites and other online scams have become increasingly more common in the financial services industry,” according to a spokesperson for Aviva told Reuters.
In Aviva’s case, the spokesman said that it is a clone of the website itself www.avibonds.com in the backdrop of Aviva Investors’ real web-site.
Aviva and Redhedge said no residents or persons for the loss of money, while at Natixis, said: “the members of the general public to be victims when they have a warning on their website on Dec. 10 – 28 days before the FCA is issued a warning.
Winton and Algebris declined to comment on the question of whether investors have lost money.
“And We will check regularly that have been cloned, and maintaining an ongoing dialogue with the regulator, where it is needed,” said Andrea Seminara, CHAIRWOMAN and CIO at the Redhedge.
The asset manager, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Eloise Lipkin said that the FCA had issued a warning regarding the company Redhedge Investment, within 48 hours of the complaint.
A spokesman for the regulator said, however, that it did not have any control over the content that is being shared on Google, or any other agency.
Report by Maiya Keidan; editing by John O’donnell and Kirsten Donovan