Quilter launches scam reporting tool

Quilter has launched a new online tool for reporting suspected impersonation scams.

The tool will allow anyone who believes they have been exposed or fallen victim to an impersonation scam that features a clone of Quilter’s branding or marketing materials to report their concerns directly to Quilter’s financial crime team.

The wealth management adviser stated that scams impersonating a regulated financial services firm have proliferated in recent years, increasing by 634% since 2010. Quilter data also showed that impersonation scams now account for 37% of all FCA warnings issued since 2010.

Like many firms across the financial services sector, Quilter’s brand has been used by sophisticated organised criminals in an attempt to ‘sell’ fake investment products online, predominantly through paid advertisements residing on internet search engines.

“The internet is awash with fake investment scams promoted on search engines and social media platforms that purport to offer high returns with limited risk, many featuring the brands of well-known financial services firms,” said Quilter chief risk officer, Matt Burton.

“We have introduced a scam reporting tool such that if any consumer sees an investment opportunity online that purports to use any of Quilter’s brands, but is unsure whether or not it is a scam, they can report it directly to our financial crime team who will be able to verify the investment proposition, or offer guidance on actions to take to recovery any money lost and avoid a follow-up scam.

“Investment scams can have a devastating impact on people’s lives, both financially and emotionally, and there is clear evidence to show that mental health problems and scams are inextricably linked. We are determined to do as much as we can to reduce the risk to consumers by making it easier to verify an investment proposition that uses our branding online.”

The launch of Quilter’s new tool comes as the government and the FCA have announced commitments to work together to tackle financial scams advertised and promoted on search engines, following calls from the financial services industry to include scams within forthcoming Online Harms legislation.

Burton added: “We have seen impersonation scams skyrocket in the past few years, and so we continue to urge the government to establish a legally binding framework that prevents fake websites and ads promoting investment products from appearing online.

“This can be achieved through the government’s forthcoming Online Harms legislation, or their Online Advertising Programme.”

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