Fraudsters claiming to be from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) using ‘fake authority’ scams have increased by 73% in 2020.

‘Fake authority’ is a type of scam where fraudsters claim to be from the FCA. They may also claim to be from the Financial Services Authority (FSA), the organisation that previously regulated financial services in the UK.

What to watch out for

Contact is being made by an email, letter or phone call from someone appearing to be from the FCA. They even use the name of an employee, official looking logos, and other images taken from the FCA website, tricking you to think the communication is genuine.

They may ask you for personal information, such as copies of your payslips or passport, bank account details or internet banking passwords.

The criminals may claim:

  • You owe them money
  • You are entitled to some money and they need your bank account details to facilitate a payment
  • They are investigating your bank or financial institutions and you need to move your money to another account for security reasons

How to avoid falling for these scams

Look for signs that the communication may not be from the FCA:

  • Phone calls could be from a mobile or overseas number
  • The email address could be from a Hotmail, Outlook or Gmail account
  • Communications may contain spelling mistakes and poor grammar
  • Website addresses and social media accounts may contain very small changes or extra punctuation
  • Always check the URL of a website you visit, and in this case make sure it matches that of the FCA (

What action should you take?

  • Keep in mind that the FCA would never contact you asking for money or your bank account details. If someone does, it’s likely to be a scam
  • If you think you have been contacted by scammers pretending to be the FCA, we strongly advise that you don’t respond to the criminals in any way
  • Instead, call the FCA’s consumer helpline on 0800 111 6768

Further information and support

  • If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up.
  • If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft, you should report this directly to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
  • If you think you may have handed over your card details to scammers, please let us know immediately