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How can you make sure you're investment ScamSmart?

Make sure you’re investment ScamSmart

We’re always being told to be careful of scams targeting our pensions, investments and bank accounts. But if it happened to you, would you recognise a scam for what it is?

Well, 22% of over 55s and 32% of over 75s think they have been targeted by a scam in the last three years. And the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says victims of investment fraud lost an average of £32,000 each last year.

Now the FCA is urging everyone, but particularly people over 55 who are able to take advantage of pension freedoms, to check investment opportunities are legitimate before handing over money. 

Former advisor to Lord Sugar on The Apprentice, Nick Hewer, who is supporting the FCA’s ScamSmart campaign, said: “I am outraged at the persistent threat investment scams pose on society, especially those over 55 who are the prime target for these callous criminals.

“I have been targeted by these scammers myself so I’m not surprised to see how many other people have also been approached. The amount of money that is being lost by victims is extremely worrying, which makes it all the more important that this issue is tackled.”

The scary thing is, even perfectly sensible people with experience of investing can get fooled.

Retiree Derek lost £6,000. The scammer took the time to build a trusting relationship before encouraging him to invest even more before leaving with the money.

Richard, a former Civil Servant with an investment background, lost more than £20,000. Scammers drew him into handing over more money by paying him a regular return on his initial investment before disappearing. 

So what can you do to avoid scams?

The FCA recommends three simple rules.

  1. Reject unsolicited contact about investments.
  2. Check to see if firm or individual you are dealing with is FCA registered or on the warning list.
  3. Get impartial advice before investing.

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  • jemmy / 18 April 2017

    thanks for sharing this important topic...