FCA launches investment scam awareness campaign

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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is to launch a new advertising campaign warning against investment scams, funded by the recovered proceeds of crime.

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The campaign will warn potential victims of investment fraud, which typically targets older people. The FCA says such crime costs the British public around £1 billion per year.

The regulator says it receives around 5,000 calls a year from investors regarding scams such as boiler room fraud, carbon credit and land banking. Each victim loses on average £20,000.  

“Those operating investment scams use very sophisticated techniques to build trust and can dupe even experienced investors out of their savings. With large numbers of people at risk, it’s important to know how to spot the signs of a potential scam,” said Martin Wheatley, chief executive of the FCA. 

“We would caution against anyone taking a risk on a firm or individual who isn’t authorised by the FCA. Our message is simple, don’t accept a cold call.” 

The FCA has launched a website advising investors on how to identify potential scams.

It will also use the £1 million it has gathered from the proceeds of crime to pay for a national newspaper and radio advertising campaign. The public will be urged to consult a financial advisor before making an investment.

Photo: Images_of_Money via Flickr

Further reading:

Bogus green investment firm, offering 800% returns, shut down by High Court

Police crack down on boiler room investment scams