Beware the boiler room scam
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has contacted 49,000 people to let them know they might be the targets of share fraud after receiving a list of potential victims in a boiler room scam.
The list is reported to contain the names, addresses and telephone numbers of 49,387 people. This type of list is used to cold call victims offering them worthless company shares.
Most of those targeted by these scams live in London or the South East of England. There also appears to have been a concentration of potential victims based in Scotland.
Boiler room operations typically contact their victims by telephone, with the aim of conning them into purchasing non-tradable, overpriced or even non-existent shares.
The individuals behind these boiler room operations are not authorised to sell shares and are often based overseas. They may try to give the impression that they are calling or writing from the UK.
Share fraud is big business. The FSA estimates that average boiler room victim loses £20,000 and the cost of this fraud in the UK each year is £200m.
Only ever buy shares or other investments from UK authorised and regulated financial advisers. Never buy shares as the result of an unexpected telephone call, regardless of how charming, convincing or charismatic the person on the other end of the phone sounds.
If you have your doubts about an investment proposition, do speak to us and we can check things out for you. After many years of experience in retail financial services, we have become incredibly skilled at spotting a rat!
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