The ICSA Registrars Group and the Financial Services Authority (FSA) have been working together to update the Share Fraud Warning Leaflet for shareholders. The new version is reproduced below:
Share fraud includes scams where investors are called out of the blue and offered shares that often turn out to be worthless or non-existent, or an inflated price for shares they own. These calls come from fraudsters operating in ‘boiler rooms’ that are mostly based abroad.
While high profits are promised, those who buy or sell shares in this way usually lose
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has found most share fraud victims are experienced investors who lose an average of £20,000, with around £200m lost in the UK each year.
If you are offered unsolicited investment advice, discounted shares, a premium price for shares you own, or free company or research reports, you should take these steps before handing over any money:
If you use an unauthorised firm to buy or sell shares or other investments, you will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if things go wrong.
If you are approached about a share scam you should tell the FSA using the share fraud reporting form at www.fsa.gov.uk/scams, where you can find out about the latest investment scams. You can also call the Consumer Helpline on 0845 606 1234.