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Investment fraud

Don't let the money you want to invest fall into the wrong hands

All about investment fraud

Investment fraud is where criminals steal the money you want to invest. They often make promises of great returns when investing in schemes, shares and commodities. The problem is, the schemes are often worthless or don't exist at all.

Why it's dangerous and how to spot it

Why it's dangerous

Action Fraud are the national reporting centre for fraud and internet crime. They estimate people lose £1bn each year to Investment Fraud in the UK.

Unfortunately, many of these scams are successful.  There are many types of scams fraudsters use to persuade you to part with your money. Click on the below headings to find out more about the most common ones.
 

What to look out for

Unexpected phone calls (Cold-calls) by someone you don’t know, trying to sell you investments and promising huge financial gains – hang up immediately!

Out of the blue e-mails - don’t respond!

People you don’t know who know a lot about you - scammers will do their homework and make it their business to know as much about you as possible before they contact you.

People giving you details you think only a genuine investment company would have e.g. previous investment and share information – proceed with caution!

People saying they’re from well-known investment companies - be sure to check independently.
 

Remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is! 

Tips that can help

  1. 1

    Take Five – before you do anything just take five minutes to make sure all makes sense, don’t rush and always take your time. Visit Take Five for more help too (opens in new window).

  2. 2

    Seek reputable independent/legal advice before you commit to an investment.

  3. 3

    Before you hand over money ensure the firm you use is on the FCA register and is allowed to give financial advice. (Opens in new window)

  4. 4

    Check the FCA list of unauthorised businesses which is updated regularly. They list businesses believed to be involved in fraudulent activities. (Opens in new window)

Reporting investment fraud

For reporting any urgent matters: 

In an emergency, dial 999 and ask for the Police

You can also call Action Fraud Telephone Reporting on: 0300 123 2040

You can also report investment fraud online to Action Fraud

And, if you think you've been subject to a fraud or scam, please also report it to us.

The FCA's warning list can help you stay safe too

Thinking about investing?

Use the FCA's warning list to see if a scheme or investment is genuine or not

This tool helps you find out more about a potential investment opportunity. It can help you find out whether the investment is real and help you avoid being scammed. 

Look out for these common scams

Something else we can help you with?