Protect your business from investment fraud
What is investment fraud?
Investment fraud is where criminals attempt to steal the money you want to invest.
The criminals can be articulate and financially knowledgeable, with credible-looking websites, testimonials and materials that are hard to distinguish from the real thing.
They often make promises of great returns when investing in schemes, shares and commodities. The problem is the schemes are often worthless or don't exist at all.
What to look out for
The criminals often contact people out of the blue via phone, email or text. They also use paid advertising on website or social media to lure customers to a fake investment website. To avoid investment scams:
- Be wary of unexpected investment phone calls even if they seem to be giving you details you think only a genuine investment company would have. Never be afraid to hang up.
- Don’t be pressured by ‘time limited offers’. It’s often a trick to make you act quickly without having the chance to research.
- Never use the financial advisor that may be suggested by the company offering the financial product.
- Search the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) list of unauthorised businesses which are believed to be involved in fraudulent activities.
- Make sure the firm you use is on the FCA register and is allowed to give financial advice. You can search by entering its name, reference number (FRN number) or postcode. Double check they are not a ‘clone firm’.
- Check online to see if there are any warnings or criticism about the firm.
- Double-check the website address (URL) and contact details of a firm in case it’s a ‘clone company’ pretending to be a real firm.
- Never get talked into an investment, always check independently. Seek reputable independent/legal advice before you commit to an investment.
Actions you can take
- Share this page with family members and colleagues, so they know what to look out for.
- Put training in place, so people in your business know how to spot and handle common threats.
- Visit the FCA “ScamSmart” website which gives you tips on how to spot the techniques used by fraudsters.