October 27, 2020

Identifying Fraud for Consumers

To support the FCA’s focus on protecting vulnerable customers we have some information that may be useful for member firms to send to private clients or their front line staff to increase the awareness of investment scams and how to report them.

An investment scam is where a criminal uses high pressured sales techniques to convince customers to invest in worthless, cloned, or non-existent items often including property, land, bonds or even wine.  Action Fraud data reveals UK consumers lost over £197m to investment fraud in 2018.

How can I spot them?

Criminals often use cold calling to target victims, pressurising them to act quickly in a time limited deal.   

You were cold-called about an investment opportunity. Unsolicited cold calling about an investment opportunity is illegal.  Never invest in an “opportunity” you found out about through a cold call.

You were pressured to invest or given a time limit? Be careful as criminals often panic people into making quick decisions.

The“opportunity” was on social media. Many scams, in particular cryptocurrency scams will try to grab your attention on social media or even have fake celebrity endorsement.

The investment company isn’t listed on the FCA’s Financial Services Register. All legitimate investment companies will be listed on this register so always check this before you invest and then check again the day you make a payment to make sure nothing has changed.