12 min read

How to report a fraudulent investment scheme

Elderly man giving credit card details over phone

Be ScamSmart with the FCA

Be ScamSmart with the FCA. The main issue for those who suspect they’ve been offered a fake investment scheme, is not knowing the correct organisation to report the fraud to. As a result the FCA launched its ScamSmart campaign and is encouraging people to spread the word and officially report any suspicious contact.

Their advised course of action is to reject any unsolicited contact regarding investments. The most typical contact is by phone, but these fake firms may also contact you via email or post. Don’t reply to emails, put the phone down and don’t engage in any further correspondence. Never give personal details away, and don’t part with any money before you’ve sought impartial financial advice.

Watch out for these tell-tale signs

In an article published earlier this year entitled ‘How to spot an investment scam’, OneFamily outlined some tell-tale signs that may indicate you’re dealing with a con artist. A few key signs that should get your guard up are;

• Cold calls about a ‘once in a lifetime’ investment opportunity.
• The firm or individual downplay the investment risks and play up the potential returns.
• Unique offers that are only available to you, but they’re time sensitive and you need to act quickly.

Always report potential fraudsters

OneFamily is calling on its customers to stay vigilant and keep abreast of the FCA’s ScamSmart campaign. Before investing, check the FCA register to identify whether the company or individual you’re communicating with is authorised and accredited. The FCA has a warning list of companies to avoid, and more are being added as members of the public are successfully reporting these false companies.

Again, always get independent advice before engaging in any investment activity. If you feel you’ve been targeted with an investment scam, report it to the FCA through its online page at www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart or by calling 0800 111 6768.

Erring on the side of caution is a good approach to take. Last year the FCA received over 8,000 reports of potential scams and returned over £3 million to victims of unauthorised activity, including investment fraud. It shows that reporting does work, helping keep consumers safe from false firms.

Fraud prevention week

Fraudsters don’t just target individuals of course, organisations are often hit too. That’s why the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) created Fraud Prevention Week, which runs from 12 – 18 November this year.

On the site you can find useful tools and guides on how to prevent fraud from a business perspective, there are infographics on how it affects particular industries, and people share their stories to raise awareness.

Written by Zac Colbert

*Source: https://www.fca.org.uk/news/press-releases/speak-out-against-fraudulent-investments

Note: Whilst we take care to ensure Talking Finance content is accurate at the time of publication, individual circumstances can differ so please don’t rely on it when making financial decisions. The opinions expressed within this blog are those of the author and not necessarily of OneFamily.