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Investment scams

Be wise. Don’t fall prey to too-good-to-be-true, high-pressure, deadline-driven offers.

What is an investment scam?

An investment scam is a fake - but extremely appealing and highly convincing - investment opportunity. Fraudsters will impersonate real people from genuine financial services firms over the phone, email, online and post. Known as 'clone firms' they’ll do all they can to get you to invest - fast.

The coronavirus outbreak has affected all kinds of companies, including those listed on the stock market. As a result, markets have been volatile and are likely to remain so for a while. It can also lead to an increase in scams, as unscrupulous people try to take advantage of the situation.

Fidelity will never cold call you offering investment opportunities.

Spotting and avoiding investment scams

If you think an offer is suspect, stop for a second. Run through this check list. And never give up your bank details or make payments.

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Unexpected contact

Any cold calling by phone, email, online or post should be treated as highly suspicious. Don’t forget, you can always hang up.

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Unrealistic returns

The promise of high returns from alternative or unregulated investments should raise alarms.

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Flattery and time pressures

If it’s an invitation-only opportunity or you need to act quickly. They may even ask you to keep quiet about it too. Be very wary and don’t make hasty decisions.

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Professional

Fraudsters will use glossy brochures, websites, fake reviews, or trained callers with scripts - … anything they can to appear convincing. Check on the FCA register to see if the firm is registered.

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On the list

Fraudsters share lists of previous scam victims to commit recovery fraud. They contact people on these lists, to recover lost monies, or sell their worthless investments - and charge an advance fee.

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Common investment scams

These include anything from carbon credits and fine wines, to storage, land and gold and jewels, as well as investments in shares, bonds, cryptocurrency, foreign exchange and binary options.

Helpful resources

Don’t delay. If you’ve received an email or call from someone posing as Fidelity contact us on 0800 358 7712. Contact your bank immediately if you’ve given out your details or made a payment - there may still be time to do something. Here are some other useful contacts.

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National Reporting Centre

Action Fraud

Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime

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A Financial Conduct Authority tool

ScamSmart

To help you avoid pension scams and check if a firm is genuine

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To stop fraud

Take Five

A national campaign offering advice to help consumers protect themselves against financial fraud

Other threats to watch out for

Fraudsters are highly committed to their cause. By knowing what they’re up to, you can play them at their own game.

Suspicious emails and phone calls

Learn how to spot a fraudulent email or phone call, so you’re not reeled in.

Pension fraud

All that glitters isn’t gold. Discover how to dig deeper and protect your pension with our tips.

Financial abuse

Find out more about criminal influence, to ensure you’re in control of your financial purse strings.

Identity theft

Look beyond the disguise. Impersonation can be the first step to someone stealing your assets.