best practice

Caveat Emptor

Unicorn Blue is a multi-disciplined consulting firm with a meeting office in Italy and the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, as is the case with consulting firms operating either virtually or traditionally, fraudsters sometimes use the firm’s name and firm officers’ names to try to scam innocent people. Attempted frauds may be set in motion by email, telephone or traditional mail.

Email scams and other security risks abound on the Internet. While we vigilantly monitor suspicious activity, the nature of “phishing,” “spoofing” and other fraudulent emails makes it impossible for Unicorn Blue to prevent the unauthorized use of our name and our officers’ names in all cases.

A common scam involves fraudsters falsely claiming that a law firm or a firm lawyer is handling a business matter, many times a business consulting, financial consulting, an eviction, and threatening to take punitive action if the victim of the scam fails to provide personal information (for example, date of birth, Social Security number, bank and account information, and credit card information) and funds immediately.

Fraudsters also illicitly use consulting firm names in scams involving counterfeit checks that are mailed to unsuspecting victims, along with a request that the victim cash or deposit the check, send most of the funds to a third party and keep the balance of the funds. When the bank determines the check is counterfeit, the victim may be liable for any funds the bank disbursed.

Spoofing emails that appear to come from a reliable source, including Unicorn Blue, attempt to cause reputational damage by publishing unfounded allegations against individuals, entities and institutions. Please report any spoofing emails you receive that appear to have been sent from a Unicorn Blue email account to Unicorn Blue at the email address below.

If you receive a suspicious email, telephone call or other solicitation referencing Unicorn Blue or a Unicorn Blue officer, consider the following recommendations:

  • Do not open or click on any links contained in the email, and do not open or download any attachments to the email. Some fraudulent emails include links or attachments that can plant malware on the recipient’s computer. Delete the suspicious email from your account immediately.
  • Never provide any personal information.
  • Never cash a check and/or send money in response to a suspicious solicitation.
  • Report suspicious solicitations to your local police department or other governmental authorities. For email scams, contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), comprised of the FBI and other agencies, at www.ic3.gov. For scams initiated by telephone, contact your local telephone company.  For scams conveyed by traditional mail contact, your local postal service authority.

While Unicorn Blue is aware that corrupt individuals have used our firm name and our officers’ names to attempt to perpetrate criminal scams on innocent victims, Unicorn Blue is not responsible for a third party’s conduct or liable for damages caused by their conduct. For your security and protection, we ask that you be extremely vigilant when you receive any request for information or action that you think might be fraudulent, whether via email, phone or traditional mail. 

Finally, fraudsters do not follow a generally accepted legal, business or financial process, or qualify the quality and background of potential clients, or ask clients to be vigilant, or, provide appropriate legal advice disclaimers.

To report potentially fraudulent use of the name of our firm or firm officers, email info@unicornblue.uk.

Our Best Practices

  • Upfront Fees: We do not charge upfront fees related to submitting a corporate financing application direct to a lending source. We operate on a time and materials basis for specific milestones and the third-party professional resources required to achieve the milestones. Where projects require specific consulting and legal, financial and due diligence preparatory work, we may charge an Engagement Fee for the relative third party disbursements to be made on a client’s behalf. All projects are scoped in Microsoft Project which requires the client’s sign-off before implementation.
  • Terms & Conditions: Our Terms & Conditions page strongly recommends clients take legal advice before completing any transaction to proposals put forward to them by Unicorn Blue. We can recommend,  take measures to recommend and document our recommendation notices, though the final act of acting on the recommendation rests with the client and their basic common sense to independently check and re-check before actually doing. We operate on the premise that if a client is uncomfortable with our proposals, then either we can arrive at a mutually acceptable proposal or, not pursue any proposals altogether.
  • Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct: We are members of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals for our recruitment consulting, and abide by their Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. While all of the IRP’s Six Standards are important, Standards 1-5 are common in most other professional body standards. In view of our diverse skill sets, we abide by the same set of principles and values in all the consultancies which we operate. We invite clients and prospective clients to verify our good standing with the IRP (membership ID: 118898).
Click image to see the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct
  • Know Your Client:  Not everybody is selected to become our clients even though we have the skills, and, access to skills and resources to complete the client’s business requirements and resolve their business problems in the minimum amount of time and cost. Our criteria is best summed up as:
    • quality, not quantity
    • client attitude, not necessarily client aptitude or project value
    • we pre-qualify a prospective client’s commitment to move their businesses from their current state to their desired successful state. 
  • Anti-Money Laundering: Adherence to regulations protect businesses and their clients. Unicorn Blue does a mixture of regulated and unregulated work, and the Money Laundering Regulations apply to the regulated aspects only. Consultations involving financing, accounting, introduction to regulated persons such as lawyers and accountants, and, financial institutions that are regulated for securities, investment and banking places a legal responsibility for Unicorn Blue to be compliant.
    • We have training in Anti-Money Laundering. In some cases, and depending on the complexity of certain assignments, clients may be asked to have their legal representative complete an Anti-Money Laundering Questionnaire as well as provide evidence of their own AML awareness.
    • We use the Basel AML Index from the Basel Institute on Governance  when scoping an assignment and structuring our consulting fees.
  • Money Laundering Reporting Officer: Costanzo Ferraro is Unicorn Blue’s nominated Money Laundering Reporting Officer under Regulation 21(1)(a) on the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 and as referred in Section 331 Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 .
  • Restricted Countries: We do not accept enquiries from certain countries listed on:
  • Country Risk Assessment:  We use various market intelligence websites to assess the level of risk in a client’s domestic or overseas area of operations.
  • Other Measures Taken: These are:
    • Our website and business has been verified by Sectigo and GoGetSSL and our website holds a valid security certificate. We update website certificates throughout the year as cybersecurity technology changes.
    • We track all emails to and from our clients using ReadNotify. This enables us to detect if a person is truly from the country they say they claim to come from and with IP address location. If they are not, we immediately block their email address at server level.
    • In connection to financing projects, we follow a process of fact finding who the client is in all the consultancies that we do. The process is outlined in our Financing Process Flow presentation. 
    • In connection to recruitment projects, we follow a process as described on our boutique recruitment page. 
    • If we judge that we lack the competency to undertake an assignment, either we will team up with a partner that has the competency(ies), or we do not undertake the assignment at all.
    • We operate a strict Anti-Bribery policy.