Beware of fraudsters pretending to be from a firm authorised by the FCA, as it could be what they call a ‘clone firm‘.
If you are cold-called by a financial services firm always ring them back on the switchboard number given on the Register. Almost all firms offering financial services in the UK must be authorised by the FCA so you should only deal with authorised firms, NOT CLONED, they look just like the real ones.
What the FCA say!
Scams are increasingly sophisticated. Fraudsters can be articulate and financially knowledgeable, with credible websites, testimonials and materials that are hard to distinguish from the real thing.
But if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Reject unexpected offers
If you’re contacted out of the blue about an investment opportunity, chances are it’s a high-risk investment or a scam.
Scammers usually cold-call but contact can also come by email, post, word of mouth or at a seminar or exhibition. Scams are often advertised online too.
If you get cold-called, the safest thing to do is to hang up. If you get unexpected offers by email or text, it’s best to simply ignore them.
Callers may pretend they aren’t cold calling you by referring to a brochure or an email they sent you. That’s why it’s important you know how to spot the other warning signs.
Spot the warning signs
- Unexpected contact – Traditionally scammers cold-call but contact can also come from online sources e.g. email or social media, post, word of mouth or even in person at a seminar or exhibition.
- Time pressure – They might offer you a bonus or discount if you invest before a set date or say the opportunity is only available for a short period.
- Social proof – They may share fake reviews and claim other clients have invested or want in on the deal.
- Unrealistic returns – Fraudsters often promise tempting returns that sound too good to be true, such as much better interest rates than elsewhere.
- False authority – Using convincing literature and websites, claiming to be regulated, speaking with authority on investment products.
- Flattery – Building a friendship with you to lull you into a false sense of security.
Check if a firm is FCA-authorised
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