Beware Investment Scams – average loss £32,000. As an Independent Financial adviser, I have a vested interest in contributing to the wider effort of helping protect consumers from pension and investment scams.
A low interest rate environment, coupled with far reaching pension reforms, have left consumers vulnerable to a raft of ‘too good to be true’ pension and investment scams. Thousands of pounds are being lost every week to crooks peddling “special deals” to the public, there is an old adagee, if it sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is.
We are also being asked to help raise awareness of scams amongst our clients and professional contacts.
Recently during a broadcasted interview at Radio Berkshire I raised scams as a major concern, unwary individuals have lost thousands and thousands of pounds to scammers.
In the UK every year a total of £1.2 Billion is lost to scammers, surprisingly experienced investors age 50 plus are often targeted.
1 in 8 investors carry our little or NO research before investing.
Only 27% seek advice.
Average loss from a scam is £32,000.
What to watch out for:-
- Unsolicited phone calls – hardly a day goes past without receiving telephone call from someone offering to ‘unlock’ a pension or carry out a ‘free pension review’. Most of these calls are from organisations that are not authorised. If you receive such a call, try to get the following information:
- company name and address
- website address
- FCA authorisation number
- Try to get them to send you literature in the post (or by email)
If you get such information and are still suspicious then report it to your IFA or the FCA.
- Texts and emails – Similarly, many of those that are scammed respond to unsolicited text messages or emails promising ‘too-good-to-be-true’ investment opportunities.
- Press adverts – many victims of scams are lured by the promise of high returns or unmissable investment opportunities, sometimes through advertisements in national and local press.
- If you are told “Don’t mention this too anyone else” OR “there is a deadline to get your money invested, so you qualify for this very high return”, you can almost guarantee that it is a scam.
PLEASE UNDERSTAND THIS, SOME HIGHLY INTELLIGENT MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ARE BEING SCAMMED. IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU, OR A VULNERABLE RELATIVE OF YOURS, PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD.
Don’t be afraid to report it no matter how trivial it seems.
GET ADVICE, PREFERABLY FROM AN IFA – WATCH THIS VIDEO :-