PIMFA PRESENTS

Investment Scams: How To Stay Safe

Over £1bn is lost to investment fraud each year and the average loss per person is £20,000.

Criminals pressure people into buying investments that promise high returns, but in reality are either worthless or non-existent. The most common type of investment scam is share fraud, they may also offer investments in things such as gold, land abroad, carbon credits, diamonds, shares in hotels, fine wine etc.

If you deal with a scammer they will not be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and you may not have the right to complain or claim compensation.

Scams can be sophisticated and difficult to spot. Fraudsters can be articulate and appear financially knowledgeable. They may have credible websites, testimonials and materials that can be hard to distinguish from the real thing. So it’s important you know how to spot the warning signs.

How to Recognise a Scam

The first time you’ll hear from them may be unexpected and about an investment opportunity not to be missed. This may be in a written letter, email or cold call, to offer a free research report into a company in which you hold shares, or a free gift or discount on their dealing charges.

The person contacting will be a welltrained, highly professional sounding salesperson. They will apply pressure on you to invest in a time-limited offer, offer you a bonus or discount if you invest before a set date, or say that the opportunity is only available for a short period of time.

You may be told that you have already entered into a contract to buy the shares and are under an obligation to pay. This is not the case as such contracts are not enforceable under UK law.

Fraudsters can be very persistent, never taking ‘no’ for an answer. They often use a script to answer your concerns and questions. They will call victims repeatedly and stay on the phone a long time until they finally make a sale, or until you hang up on them.

They will often claim to be from legitimate firms, or firms which sound legitimate and have professional looking websites.

Fraudsters will promise very tempting returns offering much better interest rates than those offered elsewhere. If it sounds to good to be true - it probably is!

Fraudsters will downplay the risks to your money, or use legal jargon to suggest the investment is very safe.

Check the FCA Website

RSS Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • FCA announces decision on cessation of 1- and 6-month synthetic sterling LIBOR at end-March 2023
    Publication of 1- and 6-month synthetic sterling LIBOR will be required until end-March 2023, after which these settings will permanently cease. We previously required ICE Benchmark Administration (IBA), the administrator of LIBOR, to continue publication of the 1-, 3- and 6-month sterling and yen LIBOR settings for an additional year after end-2021, using a synthetic […]
  • Fighting financial crime – the force multiplier effect
    Speech by Sarah Pritchard, Executive Director, Markets, at theFinancial Crime Summit – 1LOD. Speaker:Sarah Pritchard, Executive Director, Markets Event: The Financial Crime Summit – 1LOD, County Hall, London  Date: 7September 2022 Note:This is a drafted speech and may differ from the delivered version Key points Working together with firms and agencies to share intelligence and […]
  • FCA calls on victims of Richard Faithfull to come forward ahead of confiscation hearing
    The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has called on victims of Richard Faithfull to come forward by 12 September 2022 in order to ensure they be part of any claim for compensation. On Thursday 9 September 2021 Richard Faithfull was found guilty of money laundering, contrary to s.327 Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 as part of […]
  • FCA fines Citigroup’s international broker-dealer £12.6m for failures relating to the detection of market abuse
    The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined Citigroup Global Markets Limited (Citigroup Global Markets) £12,553,800 for failing to properly implement the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) trade surveillance requirements relating to the detection of market abuse. By failing to properly implement the MAR trade surveillance requirements, Citigroup Global Markets could not effectively monitor its trading activities […]
  • 101 firms in scope of new emergency asset retention rules for British Steel Pension Scheme transfer advice
    New emergency asset retention rules now apply to 101 firms who provided pension transfer advice to former British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) members, 26 of these firms are subject to an asset restriction. We announced emergency rules on 25 April 2022 to prevent firms who advised BSPS members to transfer their benefits out of the […]

Check the FCA Warning List

The Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA). Warning List is a list of firms and individuals that the FCA knows are operating without its authorisation. The tool also provides information about the risks associated with a particular investment opportunity.

Remember, if an investment sounds too good to be true it probably is!

For more information on investment fraud visit the FCA’s ScamSmart website: ww.fca.org.uk/scamsmart

Reject cold calls

People offering high risk investments or scams will often cold call. Legitimate firms are very unlikely to contact you in this way. If you’re called about an investment opportunity the safest thing to do is to hang up.

Always ensure the firm is on the FCA Register

Check that teh firm is allowed to give financial advice by visiting: https://register.fca.org.uk/ Get the name of the person and organisation contacting you. Use the details on the FCA Register to contact the firm, rather than a direct line they might give you.

BEWARE OF IMPERSONATION FRAUD

Find out more on the National Crime Agency website: https://nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/

GET IMPARTIAL ADVICE

Seek impartial advice from a financial adviser unconnected to the firm that has contacted you before you make an investment. You can find an adviser on unbiased.co.uk, and VouchedFor.co.uk PIMFA have a list a FCA authorised financial advisers, stockbrokers and wealth managers, on their directory at: pimfa.co.uk/managing-your-money/finda-firm/

Top 100 Firms Searched on ScamSmart Warning List

Click the below button to see the top 100 firm name searches made by consumers using the ScamSmart warning list in May 2021. These include firm names that are and are not on our unauthorised business list as well as 'clone firms' pretending to be genuine firms. Visit fca.org.uk/scamsmart to check if we have a warning about a particular firm name and check authorised firms on the FCA Financial Services Register fca.org.uk/register.

FCA ScamSmart Monthly Web Report

Firms Recently Added to the Warning List

RSS Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • Star Crypto (Clone of FCA Authorised Firm) (new)
    Clone Fraudsters are using the details of firms we authorise to try to convince people that they work for a genuine, authorised firm. Find out more about this 'clone firm'. Almost all firms and individuals carrying out financial services activities in the UK have to be authorised or registered by us. This firm is not […]
  • Escrow Custodian Service Ltd (Clone of FCA Authorised Firm) (new)
    Clone Fraudsters are using the details of firms we authorise to try to convince people that they work for a genuine, authorised firm. Find out more about this 'clone firm'. Almost all firms and individuals carrying out financial services activities in the UK have to be authorised or registered by us. This firm is not […]
  • Midpoint-ex (Clone of FCA authorised firm) (new)
    Clone Fraudsters are using the details of firms we authorise to try to convince people that they work for a genuine, authorised firm. Find out more about this 'clone firm'. Almost all firms and individuals carrying out financial services activities in the UK have to be authorised or registered by us. This firm is not […]
  • Cryptonance Brokerage (new)
    Unauthorized We believe this firm may be providing financial services or products in the UK without our authorisation. Find out why you should be wary of dealing with this unauthorised firm and how to protect yourself. Almost all firms and individuals offering, promoting or selling financial services or products in the UK have to be […]
  • Shore Capital Markets / Shore Capital Markets UK (Clone of UK registered company) (updated)
    Unauthorized We believe this firm may be providing financial services or products in the UK without our authorisation. Find out why you should be wary of dealing with this unauthorised firm and how to protect yourself. Almost all firms and individuals offering, promoting or selling financial services or products in the UK have to be […]
  • Sliverleaf Capital Group LLC / Silver Leaf Capital Group LLC / Silver Lease Capital Group / Sliver Lease Capital Group (updated)
    Unauthorized We believe this firm may be providing financial services or products in the UK without our authorisation. Find out why you should be wary of dealing with this unauthorised firm and how to protect yourself. Almost all firms and individuals offering, promoting or selling financial services or products in the UK have to be […]
  • coinpass.ltd (Clone of FCA Authorised Firm) (new)
    Clone Fraudsters are using the details of firms we authorise to try to convince people that they work for a genuine, authorised firm. Find out more about this 'clone firm'. Almost all firms and individuals carrying out financial services activities in the UK have to be authorised or registered by us. This firm is not […]
  • Blockchain Refund Department (clone of FCA registered EMD agent) (updated)
    Clone Fraudsters are using the details of firms we authorise to try to convince people that they work for a genuine, authorised firm. Find out more about this 'clone firm'. Almost all firms and individuals carrying out financial services activities in the UK have to be authorised or registered by us. This firm is not […]
  • leadenhall-wm (clone of FCA authorised firm) (new)
    Clone Fraudsters are using the details of firms we authorise to try to convince people that they work for a genuine, authorised firm. Find out more about this 'clone firm'. Almost all firms and individuals carrying out financial services activities in the UK have to be authorised or registered by us. This firm is not […]
  • Freedom Trust Credit Bank (new)
    Unauthorized We believe this firm may be providing financial services or products in the UK without our authorisation. Find out why you should be wary of dealing with this unauthorised firm and how to protect yourself. Almost all firms and individuals offering, promoting or selling financial services or products in the UK have to be […]

Search the Full Warning List

Report a Scam

Get in Touch

PIMFA

69 Carter Lane
London
EC4V 5EQ

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7448 7100
www.pimfa.co.uk
press@pimfa.co.uk
@PIMFA_UK #XXX #XXXstaysafefromscams

Copyright © 2022 PIMFA. All Rights Reserved. Web Development by HUB.