Warning to shareholders

Fraudsters use a range of tactics to scam investors, some can be persuasive, and some high-pressure.  Whether it is the promise of a high return on shares that turn out to be worthless, or offering to buy your shares at a high price in exchange for an upfront fee, ultimately the scams are designed to steal money from you.  Put simply, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

By following these three simple rules to avoid investment scams, you can potentially remove the risk of falling prey to the fraudsters.

1. Reject cold calls

Reputable trading houses don’t often cold call with an offer to buy or sell shares.  Most likely, any investment brought to your attention by way of an unsolicited call is likely to be high-risk or a scam.  You should treat with caution, and the best thing to do is hang up.

2. Check the firm on the FS register at www.fca.org.uk/register

The Financial Services register is a public record of all the firms and individuals in the financial services industry that are regulated by the FCA.

3. Get impartial advice

Before you make any investment, or handover any money, seek impartial financial advice. Ensure that the advice comes from a reputable individual unconnected with the firm that has approached you.

Reporting a scam

If you believe that you have been approached by fraudsters, please inform the FCA using the share fraud reporting form, found at www.fca.org.uk/scams.

You can also call the FCA consumer helpline on 0800 111 6768.

If you have been unfortunate enough to lose money to investment fraud, you should report it to Action fraud on 0300 123 2040; or online at www.actionfraud.police.uk.

To find out more about investment fraud, and the scams to avoid, please visit www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart.

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