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!


How to avoid share fraud

Report a scam

1. Reject cold calls

If you've been cold called with an offer to buy or sell shares, 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 firm on the FS register at www.fca.org.uk/register

The Financial Services Register is a public record of all the firms and individuals in the financial services industry that are regulated by the FCA.

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.

If you suspect that you have been approached by fraudsters please tell the FCA using the share fraud reporting form at www.fca.org.uk/scamswhere you can find out more about investment scams. 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