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FCA campaign to target those at risk of investment fraud

Thursday 16th October 2014

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched a national campaign to warn people about investment fraud and how to spot a potential scam.
High-pressure selling and boiler room tactics for products such as land-banking schemes, carbon credits and rare earth metals are some of the most common scams, according to the organisation. 
FCA research found that the average investor loses around £20,000 and the Authority receives 5,000 calls a year from investors about suspected investment fraud. 
In many cases, investment scams are run through fraudulent websites that mimic those of legitimate firms. The FCA is also urging investors to be vigilant of brochures, many of which would convince even the most experienced investor that a scam product was genuine. 
“Those operating investment scams use very sophisticated techniques to build trust and can dupe even experienced investors out of their savings,” said Martin Wheatley, chief executive of the FCA. “With large numbers of people at risk, it’s important to know how to spot the signs of a potential scam.” 
“We would caution against anyone taking a risk on a firm or individual who isn’t authorised by the FCA. Our message is simple, don’t accept a cold call,” he added.
The FCA is encouraging anyone who is considering an investment to check its ‘Scamsmart’ website: www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart.

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