UNSOLICITED INVESTMENT ADVICE
Beware of unsolicited calls or correspondence
Companies are aware that some of their shareholders have received unsolicited phone calls or correspondence concerning investment matters which imply a connection to the company concerned. These are typically from overseas based 'brokers' who target UK shareholders offering to sell them what often turn out to be worthless or high risk shares in US or UK investments.
Shareholders may also be advised that there is an imminent offer for the company, and the caller may offer to buy shares at significantly above the market price if an administration fee is paid. This is known as 'boiler room fraud'.
They can be very persistent and extremely persuasive and a 2006 survey by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has reported that the average amount lost by each investor is around £20,000. It is not just the novice investor that has been duped in this way; many of the victims had been successfully investing for several years. Shareholders are advised to be very wary of any unsolicited advice or offers to buy shares at a discount.
If you receive any unsolicited investment advice of this nature:
Check the FCA register at: http://www.fsa.gov.uk/register/home.do
The Financial Conduct Authority
The FCA can be contacted in respect of unauthorised firms by completing an online form available by clicking on the link below, or by calling 0800 111 6768. If you deal with an unauthorised firm you will not be eligible to receive payment under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
FCA online reporting form
ICSA share fraud warning leaflet
What to do if you have been a victim of boiler room fraud
If you think you may have been a victim of boiler room fraud, you should report the matter to your local Police Station or to Action Fraud.
Action Fraud is the UK's national fraud reporting centre and you can contact them on 0300 123 2040.
Action Fraud website at: www.actionfraud.police.uk
Further information regarding Boiler Room Fraud is available on the City of London Police website at: www.cityoflondon.police.uk/CityPolice/Departments/ECD/Fraud/boilerroom.htm