|We've worked with the FCA to develop a new shareholder flyer to advise on how to avoid falling victim to these scams. The flyer provides you with contact details if you believe you have been targeted and a link to the FCA's 'scam smart' website where you can report a scam or obtain more information.|
A prevalent scam is phishing (pronounced fishing). Phishing emails are used by fraudsters to trick people into revealing personal information such as bank account details.
They then use this information for illegal purposes, such as transferring funds or purchasing goods.
Phishing emails will look as though they come from a bank or other financial institution,
and may include links to a convincing replica home page.
Never click on a link in an email that looks suspicious.
It is important to always be aware and alert to any form of unsolicited
request to provide your private information. Phishing often conveys a sense of urgency, prompting the recipient to respond
immediately without thinking, such as suspended account access due to potential security breaches.
Computershare upholds strict security standards and processes, and does not use or endorse the use of emails for disclosure of personal or account information.
If you receive any suspicious email message requesting account reactivation for online services such as Investor Centre, there are some steps you could take to protect yourself from online threats.
A typical type of Boiler Room Scam involves fraudsters cold-calling victims offering them worthless, overpriced or even non-existent shares. While they promise high returns, those who invest usually end up losing their money.
If you have already bought or sold shares through a boiler room, be especially careful as fraudsters are likely to target you again or sell your details to other criminals. The follow-up scam may be completely separate or related to the previous fraud, such as an offer to get your money back or buy back the shares after you pay an administration fee.
If you already own shares in a company you may receive a call from someone offering to buy them, often at a higher price than their market value. This might sound like a great deal, but will likely come with a request for money up front as a bond or other form of security, which the scammers say they will pay back if the sale does not go ahead. This is probably an advance fee scam – where you pay money but never hear from them again.
These share scams are sometimes advertised in newspapers, magazines or online as genuine investment opportunities. They may even offer a free research report into a company in which you hold shares, or a free gift or discount on their dealing charges.
You will often be told that you need to make a quick decision or miss out on the deal.
There may be requests for advance fees for things such as administration, transfers, taxes, legal costs, deposits or even bribes. You are unlikely to ever receive the money from their supposed sale.
The scammers might also try to sell you shares in a company you have never heard of, often because it does not exist. If you buy these shares, it is likely you will be left with a worthless investment.
Only deal with financial services firms that are authorised by the FCA. FCA authorised firms are unlikely to contact you out of the blue with investment opportunities. A legitimate company is also unlikely to use harassment, high-pressure sales tactics, or long and persistent phone calls, to get you to invest. Be firm: if the fraudsters can keep you talking you have not really said ‘no’. For more information go to http://www.fca.org.ukback to top