Cold call investment scams

13 December 2016

If you’re rung up out of the blue about an investment opportunity, the best thing you can do is hang up.

That’s the advice of the Financial Conduct Authority, which says that over 65s with savings in excess of £10,000 are three and a half times as likely to fall victim to investment fraud.

Fraudsters will often be articulate and appear financially knowledgeable. They have credible websites, testimonials and materials that can be hard to distinguish from the real thing.

People offering high risk investments or scams will often cold call and try to keep you on the phone a long time.

They may try to hide the fact they’re cold calling by referring to a brochure or an email they have sent you.

They may also:

  • Apply pressure 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.
  • Downplay the risks to your money, or use legal jargon to suggest the investment is very safe.
  • Promise tempting returns, for example, offer much better interest rates than those offered elsewhere. Go by the rule that if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
  • Say that they are only making the offer available to you, or even ask you to not tell anyone else about the opportunity.

Remember, investment fraud is often sophisticated and very difficult to spot.

Always do your own checks before investing. Check the Financial Conduct Authority Warning List and the Financial Services Register see if those that are asking for your money are the real deal.

You can report the firm or scam by contacting the FCA Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768 or using its reporting form.

Find out more at www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart