Investment scams involve someone cold calling you or sending you a text, WhatsApp, email, or social media message offering you the opportunity to invest your money in a great investment that comes with guaranteed returns, They will try every trick in the book to sound like they are from a genuine investment company, or broker and will use high pressurized techniques like “this is a limited time deal, you need to invest now to avoid loosing out, the deal needs to be closed today” to force you to make a decision to invest in their latest scam.
Before you make a decision always ask for the company details to confirm if they are genuine. Check the details at the FCA website https://register.fca.org.uk/s/ or use the FCA scam checker https://www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart/warning-list
Never make a decision to invest money under pressure, if you get the feeling the investment is a scam don’t invest. Always speak to someone before investing your money.
How to spot an investment scam
Do your research
Financial services companies in the UK are legally required to be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), unless exempt. You can check the registered status of any company offering investment opportunities on the FCA website. You can also check the FCA list of unauthorised firms. This lists any businesses believed to be involved in fraudulent activities.
Check online reviews
Online reviews can shed light on whether a company is legitimate or not. Reviews listed on company websites can be faked, so look for reviews on sites like Trustpilot and Google Reviews. As it’s easy for unethical companies to pay for fake positive reviews, you should also look for negative reviews.
Don’t trust cold calls
It’s rare for genuine investment companies to cold call you, so be extremely cautious if you receive an unplanned call. No legitimate company will ever pressure you to make a decision.
Analyze emails and texts
If you receive a suspicious email or text, ask yourself these questions:
- Are there any spelling or grammatical mistakes in the message or links?
- Does the opportunity seem too good to be true?
- Are they asking you to visit a URL or open an attachment?
- Are they asking you for personal information or payment details?