Warning to shareholders
Remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
You should be very wary of any unsolicited advice, offers to buy shares at a discount or offers of free company reports.
In recent years, many companies have become aware that their shareholders have received unsolicited telephone calls or correspondence concerning investment matters. These are typically from overseas based 'brokers' working in ‘boiler rooms’ who target UK shareholders, offering to sell them what often turn out to be worthless or high risk shares in US or UK investments. These brokers can be very persistent, extremely persuasive and use sophisticated means to approach and convince investors. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has found that even experienced investors have been caught out by share fraud. It was also discovered that, on average, victims of boiler rooms lose an average of £20,000 to these scams, with as much as £200 million being lost in the UK each year.
If you receive any unsolicited investment advice, you should follow the steps below:
- avoid getting into a conversation, note the name of the person and firm contacting you and then end the call
- check that they are properly authorised by the FCA before getting involved via its register: www.fca.org.uk/register or call 0800 111 6768
- search the list of unauthorised firms to avoid: www.fca.org.uk/scams
- think about getting independent financial and professional advice before you hand over any money.
Details of any share dealing facilities that the Company endorses will be included in Company mailings.
Protecting your investment
We strongly advise you to deal only with financial services firms that are authorised by the FCA. Keep in mind that authorised firms are unlikely to contact you out of the blue with an offer to buy or sell shares. If you deal with an unauthorised firm, you would not be eligible to receive payment under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
For more information visit the FCA website: www.fca.org.uk/scams.
Reporting a scam
If you suspect you have been approached about an investment scam, contact the FCA using the share fraud reporting form: www.fca.org.uk/scams. You can also call the FCA Consumer Helpline on
0800 111 6768. Reporting unauthorised organisations who are targeting, or have targeted, UK investors, means the FCA can maintain an up to date list and appropriate action can be considered.
If you have already paid money to share fraudsters you should contact Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and internet crime, on 0300 123 2040 or online at www.actionfraud.police.uk. The service is run by the City of London Police working alongside the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.