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FCA launches national campaign to tackle investment fraud

Jenna Towler
Written By:
Jenna Towler

The financial regulator has launched a national campaign focused on investment fraud and how to spot potential scams.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said many people, especially the elderly, were being targeted by scammers using tactics such as boiler room tactics, for products which often do not exist, including land-banking schemes, carbon credits, and rare earth metals.

The regulator is using funds recovered from the proceeds of crime to fund the campaign.

Chief executive Martin Wheatley (pictured) said: ”Those operating investment scams use very sophisticated techniques to build trust and can dupe even experienced investors out of their savings. With large numbers of people at risk, it is 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 is not authorised by the FCA. Our message is simple, don’t accept a cold call.”

The average investor loses about £20,000 and the FCA receives around 5,000 calls a year from investors about suspected investment fraud, the regulator said.

The FCA is encouraging anyone who is considering an investment to check its Scamsmart website, www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart, and seek independent financial advice from a regulated professional before going ahead.