Latest News

Beware of Investment Scammers

22nd April 2020

Warning signs which you can use to avoid falling victim

Every year thousands of people lose millions of pounds due to investment scams. The internet and advances in digital communications mean these kinds of scams are becoming more common and harder to identify. Thankfully there are some warning signs you can use to avoid falling victim to scammers.

Investment scams aim to get unsuspecting people to hand over money. On the face of it, they can seem perfectly legitimate, appearing knowledgeable with websites, testimonials and marketing material. The most infamous kind of investment scam is a Ponzi Scheme, where money is collected from new investors to pay previous investors. Eventually the money owed is greater than the money being collected and the scheme collapses, leaving all the investors out of pocket.

Today, due to the internet and digital communications, investment scams can be much more complex. Some of these scams are so convincing, even professional investors have fallen victim to them.

Since the pensions freedoms were introduced in April 2015, older people are particularly vulnerable to investment scams because they can access cash lump sums from pension pots. All investment scams have one thing in common. They claim to be able to offer high levels of return for very little risk.

 

Don’t feel pressured

Make sure you are aware of the warning signs that might indicate an investment opportunity is a scam:

  • Unsolicited approaches by phone call, text message, email or a person knocking on your door.
  • When a firm doesn’t allow you to call it back.
  • Where you’re forced to make a quick decision, or are pressured into doing so.
  • Contact details you are given, or found on their website, are only mobile phone numbers or a PO box address.
  • You are being offered a high return on your investment, but are told it’s low risk.

 

Follow simple rules

To avoid being caught out by a scam, make sure you follow these simple rules:

If you are thinking about an investment opportunity, seek professional financial advice from an FCA regulated firm.

 

If you’ve been targeted 

If you think you’ve been targeted by an investment scam, report it to the FCA Scam Smart website. If you have lost money to a suspected investment fraud, you should report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

 

Beware of being targeted in the future, particularly if you’ve lost money to a scam.Fraudulent companies might take advantage of this and offer to help you get some or all of your money back.

Return to news page
Gold star Gold star Gold star Gold star Gold star
"Our mortgage adviser Andrew Francis is brilliant. When we first met him we were first time buyers with very limited knowledge about the process of buying a first home in the UK. However, Andrew guided us through the process with his vast knowledge and professionalism. We had to recently re- mortgage our flat, Andrew got in touch with us well in advance he presented us with the best options for us and made the whole procedure painless. Of course, we were a lot more relaxed this time around, as we already knew that we are in good hands. Thank you for your help, Andrew!"

Vyara Panayotova , Feb 2020

Independent review from Google
Gold star Gold star Gold star Gold star Gold star
"Always been impressed We've used IMC for over 10 years and have always been impressed with the service. They have helped to guide us through various financial issues we've had and we've been able to make better choices as a result. I wouldn't hesitate to use them again"

SusB , May 2020

Independent review from Yell