Similar to pension scams, other types of investment scams are unfortunately becoming increasingly common.
As an investor in a Stocks and Shares ISA and/or General Investment Account you should be wary of scammers cold-calling offering to buy or sell shares or bonds which in general are likely to turn out to be worthless, overpriced or even non-existent. Unlike pension cold calling, these calls aren't illegal. As well as this, you should also be suspicious of any unsolicited advice, offers to buy shares at a discount or offers of free reports.
Increasingly tactics are becoming more advanced, with very persistent and extremely persuasive scammers using high pressure tactics such as limited time offers or offers available only for a 'select' few investors. If the offer looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Another common tactic to be aware of is the use of a fake or cloned websites, emails and advertising. In these examples, the same company/product branding is used to make it look and feel genuine, however, the information provided to you will contain links to fraudulent websites which are used to steal your personal information and security details. Fake sites, emails and advertising may also be used to encourage you to invest in products appearing to be from a genuine firm, often in the guise of bonds. Again, the look and feel of the fake communications are designed to persuade you that you're dealing with the legitimate firm. If you're unsure about the product or introducer, you should always independently check the information before making an investment. You can use the contact details on the FCA Register for product providers and introducers associated with investments in the UK. If the investment or introducer is based overseas, we recommend you check using the relevant regulatory body based in that country.
What to do if you think you’ve been scammed?
If you think you’ve been a victim of a scam, you can:
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