Warning to shareholders

Fraudsters use persuasive, high pressure tactics to scam investors. They may offer to sell you shares that turn out to be fake of worthless, or to buy your shares at a high price if you pay an upfront fee. Either way, the promised profits won't materialise and you'll probably lose your money. Here's how to avoid investment scams.

Remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be ScamSmart!

Investment scams are designed to look like genuine investments

Spot the warning signs

Have you been

  • contacted out of the blue
  • promised tempting returns and told the investment is safe
  • called repeatedly, or
  • told the offer is only available for a limited time?

 If so, you might have been contacted by fraudsters.

How to avoid share fraud

1. Reject cold calls

If you've received unsolicited contact about an investment opportunity, chances are it's a high risk investment or a scam. You should treat the call with extreme caution. The safest thing to do is to hang up.

2. Check the FCA Warning List

The FCA Warning List is a list of forms and individuals we know are operating without our authorisation.

3. Get impartial advice

Think about getting impartial financial advice before you hand over any money. Seek advice from someone unconnected to the firm that has approached you.

Report a scam

If you suspect that you have been approached by fraudsters please tell the FCA using the reporting form at www.fca.org.uk/consumers/report-scam-unauthorised-firm. You can also call the FCA Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768.

If you have lost money to investment fraud, you should report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at www.actionfraud.police.uk

Find out more at www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart

Take simple precautions to protect personal and financial information- for tips on how to protect yourself and find out the latest information go to bt.com/scams