Bogus letters - AIB Bank (CI) Limited (trading as Allied Irish Offshore)
This notice is issued by the Financial Supervision Commission (“the Commission”) in accordance with the powers conferred upon it under Section 22 of the Financial Supervision Act 1988.
The Commission has previously issued general advice regarding bogus letters falsely purporting to have been issued by genuine Isle of Man institutions.
The Commission also published on its website a notice entitled “Attempts to gain foreign account holders’ personal details”.
The Commission has recently become aware of letters falsely purporting to originate from the genuine Isle of Man Banking Licence Holder, AIB Bank (CI) Limited (trading as Allied Irish Offshore). The bogus letters appear to have been generated by reproducing a copy of the letterhead of the genuine institution. The letters seen by the Commission purport to be signed by a Mrs Marina Pirola acting in the capacity of Relationship Manager, African Client Services. The Isle of Man licenceholder has confirmed that there is no person employed within their organisation by this name.
For identification purposes we reproduce below the text of the bogus letters.
“Your investment with Allied Irish Offshore
Given the tighter focus on Anti Money Laundering and terrorism financing on an international scale and to follow our requirements locally, we at Allied Irish Offshore are currently in the process of reviewing our client records. This review is being undertaken to ensure that we confirm to the latest regulatory, Anti Money Laundering and Client Identification requirements.
In view of the above, we therefore request that you complete the attached W-8 BEN Form and fax same to +44 709 2878525 within 30 working days from the receipt of this letter.
The purpose of the W-8 BEN Form is to provide our not ordinarily resident savers to receive interest without tax being taken off.
If a valid and up to date W-8 BEN Form is not received from you after 30 working days from the receipt of this letter you will be listed as undocumented, resulting in the standard rate of UK tax of 30% being applied on any dividend or interest income received.”
The correspondence seen by the Commission has been accompanied by an alleged Form W-8 BEN entitled “Application for a not ordinarily resident saver to receive interest without tax taken off” requesting that the recipient provide extensive personal and identification information.
Any persons receiving correspondence purporting to originate from Isle of Man Financial Institutions and who have any doubts about the authenticity of the correspondence should contact the alleged originator who should be able to rapidly confirm whether or not it is genuine. Persons should not rely on telephone or fax numbers included within the suspect correspondence as these may have been entered by the forger of the document. You should contact the institution using a telephone, fax, email or postal address that you already know to be genuine or as an alternative one that you have obtained via a trusted third party. The Commission website contains details of all of our licenceholders including details of their genuine postal addresses. These details may be used to contact the relevant institution or be used to obtain other genuine contact details by trusted methods.
Persons who have received correspondence matching that described above and who have concerns may contact the Enforcement Division on +44 1624 689315 or by email to email@example.com
Any persons who have paid away funds or given credit in relation to correspondence matching the above description, and which they have established by contacting the alleged originator is not genuine, should consider contacting their local police fraud unit without delay.
FSC Reference: KL/11/2006