Financial services company reveals ‘exponential rise’ in attempted cyber crime
Written by: Nigel Howle

Wealth Management company St James’s Place has revealed an exponential rise in attempted cyber-scams.

In a blog on their website, they detail a range of attacks on the firm and its associates.

Jessica Grant, of the St. James’s Place Financial Crime team, says these include a slew of fraudulent emails which pose as St. James’s Place emails, capitalising on the company’s brand but offering frankly absurd rates on savings accounts or investments.

She adds: “Offers such as ‘pay us just £250 as a starting fee and we can then invest it for you and start a great business relationship’ sound just too good to be true. And they always are. They show only a very basic knowledge of the investment industry. The bottom line is we never cold-contact in this manner.”

Jessica advises that people ‘hover’ their cursor over the sender’s address as this will often reveal a slight variant of the address, a technique called ‘domain spoofing’ which is widely used by hackers committing internet fraud.

That’s good advice.

St James’s Place also say they’ve seen a rise in spoof LinkedIn profiles, prompting the organisation to send out cease and desist orders.

The hardest cybercrime to spot is a complete clone of a  St James’s Place Partner website.

Izzy Price, of St James’s Place, revealed: “I was contacted by a St. James’s Place Partner last year when his website and his company identity were completely cloned. It wasn’t until he took a phone call from a man saying: “I sent you the money as we’d agreed but you’ve not come back to me?’ that everyone became suspicious. No such conversation had ever taken place.”

“The St. James’s Place financial crime team uncovered an exact cloned site originating in France, which acted as cover to persuade the victim to purchase cryptocurrency – a type of transaction that is contrary to company policy.”

We think there’s plenty of learning opportunities from the cyber crimes referred to here – please be vigilant!

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