The Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) has issued a warning regarding Piggy Money, a UK-based credit company. It offered loans on its website although it had not asked for registration in Ireland.
The company has, moreover, cloned the authorisation number of the Zoom Finance Limited firm, which is authorised by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Yet, there is no link between the fraudster and the authorised British company, the CBI said on November 11.
Piggy Money is the second firm that Ireland’s Central Bank cautions against in November. The CBI previously reported Best Loans/Best Loans Ireland Limited. The Central Bank has issued a total of 31 warnings this year.
How to avoid clones
The FCA labelled Piggy Money as a so-called clone firm already in June 2019.
Scammers have been using correct details of authorised firms, both in Ireland and the UK, to appear above suspicion for several years. The misused details may include not only registration numbers but also the actual address of a registered company. In addition, fraudsters often mix real information with a false one.
Since the summer of 1998, the CBI has put 368 financial institutions on the list of unauthorised firms.
To avoid being scammed by clone firms and persons, people wishing to get a bank account open or applying for a loan should double-check a firm’s details and the URL. Also, the Central Bank of Ireland recommends checking out its register of authorised companies before consumers apply for and agree to sign a loan.
The credible banking institutions, for example, include Allied Irish Banks, KBC, EBS, Ulster Bank, and UniCredit Bank.