Fraudsters use persuasive and high-pressure tactics to lure investors into scams. They may offer to sell shares that turn out to be worthless or non-existent, or to buy shares at an inflated price in return for an upfront payment. While high profits are promised, if you buy or sell shares in this way you will probably lose your money.
Here’s how to avoid share fraud:
- Reject cold calls - If you've been cold called with an offer to buy or sell shares, chances are it's a high risk investment or a scam. You should treat the call with extreme caution. The safest thing to do is hang up.
- Check the firm on the Financial Services 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.
- Get impartial advice - Think about getting impartial financial advice before you hand over any money. Seek advice from someone unconnected to the firm that has approached you.
REMEMBER: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
If you suspect that you have been approached by fraudsters please tell the FCA using the share fraud reporting form at www.fca.org.uk/scams, where you can find out more about investment scams. You can also call the FCA Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768.
If you have lost money to investment fraud, you should report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at www.actionfraud.police.uk
Find out more at www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart