Boiler Room Fraud Alert

You may have already received a fraud alert from the Financial Services Authority or via your bank recently, warnings have been sent out from mid-April regarding land investment scams or share scams which are commonly known as ‘boiler room scams.’

The letters are being sent out as the FSA has recently recovered lists from companies that they believe are involved in these scams, the lists are basically phonebooks used by the fraudulent companies. If you or anyone you know has received a letter or an email from the FSA between April and May, you are urged to read it, as it could save you or someone else thousands of pounds.

If you have already been contacted by a firm offering you a ‘once in a lifetime’ investment opportunity, or you have already invested in one, you should inform the FSA immediately as the information you provide could help them to catch criminals and shut the scams down. Please note, the FSA will not call you for any further information and will never ask for money, bank account or personal details.

Things to look out for:

  • A phone call out of the blue
  • High pressure sales tactics
  • The promise of huge returns

The FSA have a team ready to answer questions about the letter and investment scams generally who can be contacted on 0845 1556355. Several High Street Banks have also provided phone numbers for their customers (callers should quote ‘Operation Bexley’):

  • Adam & Company – 020 7770 0015
  • Bank of Scotland – 0845 606 2196
  • Barclays – 0800 051 6195
  • The Co-operative – 0845 602 9402
  • Coutts & Co – 020 7770 0011
  • Halifax – 0845 601 6954
  • HSBC – 0845 600 9961
  • Lloyds TSB – 0845 600 1928
  • NatWest – 0845 605 0789 (overseas +44 870 243 0464)
  • Royal Bank of Scotland – 0845 600 8212 (overseas +44 131 317 4597)

You can also report an encounter with a suspicious company via the online reporting form.  You can view the letter here and further information on the FSA website.

Please spread the word to anyone you know who may be vulnerable, and remember…if it sounds too good to be true…it probably is!