The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is being troubled by fake emails again for the second time in three months. In a statement issued on the 21st of March 2017, the FCA warn of a security breach that has caused emails to be sent out from the three following addresses:
Whilst these are official sender accounts, any email with ‘FCA Regulation 2017’ as its subject title has been sent without the knowledge or consent of the financial watchdog. And should therefore be treated as a potential scam.
This is a repeat of January’s breach, when a fake email with the same subject title was sent out from the addresses listed above.
What should I do if I have received an email?
Do not open it under any circumstances. The FCA have advised anybody who sees the message in their inbox to delete the email without opening it. In their 2016/17 priorities publication, targeting financial crime was listed as a key point, stating: “The FCA also wishes to reduce the harm to consumers from investment scams.”
How can I stay protected from fake emails?
Unfortunately, fraudulent activity is part and parcel of the online age. Using common-sense can keep you out of trouble, and taking the following basic measures can protect you from the issues that the FCA are experiencing:
- Treat any email with an attachment with caution, even if you know the sender
- Don’t trust emails from an unknown sender
- Don’t click suspicious links in an email
- Keep any internet security, such as antivirus software and firewalls up to date
- Take note of any reported security breaches, sometimes attacks can be foiled by spreading the news
- If in doubt, contact the organisation directly on their advertised helpline, not one contained in an email you receive
It is not clear who is behind the fake emails, but for now everybody should remain vigilant.
Suspected scam emails can be reported on the FCA website here, or on the consumer helpline on 0800 111 6768.