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Share Scams

Have you or someone you know been caught-out by a share scam?
We can help.

Share Scams

Commonly referred to as Boiler Room Fraud, share scams have been a major problem in the UK for many years. The scams are complex and often very elaborate, with boiler rooms using high pressure sales techniques to persuade investors to send money for worthless or fake shares.

In more recent years the problem of Advance Fee Fraud has been more prevalent. The same fraudsters who sold the worthless or fake shares have been targeting the same victims with the promise of a buyer for the shares, offering prices significantly above that originally paid.

Various plausible reasons are given for why the investor must pay money upfront i.e there are restrictions on the shares that need to be lifted, there are warrants that can be exercised or a tax liability, all of which needs to be paid before the sale can complete releasing the large sum of money to the investor. Of course there is no sale of the shares and the money advanced is lost

The fraudsters may also approach again in a different guise, again via cold call asking you to pay upfront fees to join with legal action which has allegedly been established to recover sums invested by defrauded investors.

The likelihood of recovering any cash lost to a fraudulent scam is minimal, there is no regulatory compensation protection for you to fall back on and the fraudsters have likely already moved and laundered any funds received.

In addition, reputable claims management firms will not generally charge you any upfront fees to assess or pursue a genuine claim with a good chance of financial recovery.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Boiler room operations tend to operate from outside the UK, although they will give the impression that they are based in the City of London with a virtual office addresses and London phone number.

You should also be aware of cold callers selling land, wine, carbon credits or any other obscure investment. It is illegal to cold the UK consumer with a real time financial promotion such as an investment or in relation to pensions.

How do I know if I’ve been scammed?

If you are concerned about an investment you made over the telephone, the first thing is to check if the stockbroker or advisor you dealt with is regulated.

You can check the status of any regulated firm by searching the FSA register

Please also be aware of fraudsters cloning regulated financial firms.

You can check the FCA’s overseas alerts list to check if the ‘company’ you dealt with is already known to the authorities.

If you have any further concerns you can contact the FCA’s consumer help line on 0800 111 6768

If you would like to speak with a Hallbrook expert please call 0115 822 1850 and we’ll be happy to help.

Can I get compensation?

Unfortunately not, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is only available to clients of former regulated financial services firms. If the ‘company’ you dealt with was a scam then it’s unlikely to be regulated.

If you have been the victim of a fraud you should report it to Action Fraud 0300 123 2040

Here’s a link to more useful information if you suspect a scam

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