A loveMONEY reader has lost nearly £270,000 to a clone firm investment scam. We look at how the criminals tricked him with a fake fixed-rate investment opportunity.




In November 2020, John (his name has been changed for anonymity) opened a business current account with Yorkshire Bank and transferred money from a previous account.

As John’s business was sadly struggling due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, he was looking into investment opportunities to bring money in, so he did some research online.

After filling out a form online, someone claiming to work for Mizuho Group got in touch about fixed-rate investment opportunities.

John was also sent details of the investments on offer, details of which he checked on the London Stock Exchange, including the ISIN, which matched.

London Stock Exchange website. (Image: Shutterstock/Pavel Kapysh)

He even checked the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register using the number provided and it matched.

Unfortunately for John, this was a clone firm and the FCA didn’t add a warning until 19 January – nearly two months after his first investment.

After talking with the imposters and doing his research, John decided to invest in a ‘UK Treasury fixed savings account’ that offered a monthly interest rate of 0.66% and required a minimum investment of £25,000.

As John was told his savings would be…

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