Report a suspected scam
Last Modified: 15/10/2014
Investment scams are difficult to spot: they are designed to appear just like genuine investments. The people that run investment scams are skilled and experienced at persuading their targets to part with their money.
If you think you have been contacted about a scam or have paid money to fraudsters there are steps you can take to protect yourself.
Step 1: Stop sending money
If you think you have been scammed you should stop sending money to the firm and individuals involved straight away.
If you have given them your bank account details, tell your bank immediately.
Step 2: Report it
If you have been cold called and suspect it was a scam, you can report it using our online forms, Investment scam form, and Share fraud form or by contacting our Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768.
If you have lost money to investment fraud, you should report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at www.actionfraud.police.uk.
Step 3: Be aware of further scams
If you have lost money to a scam – or even just been contacted by fraudsters – you should be aware that you are likely to be targeted again.
If you have lost money to a scam, fraudsters may try to take advantage of the fact that you want to recover your money and might offer to help you get some or all of it back. They will hope that by investing once means that you are prepared to take risks again. You may be contacted by a new individual or group, as it is likely your name and details appear on a list their group and others are using to target people.
You may be:
- reassured that your original investment is genuine and encouraged not to pull out of the deal
- threatened with legal action if you stop sending money, or if you ask for your money back
- told you can swap your investment for another deal, with a transfer fee involved, or asked to pay a capital gains tax bill before the large profit you were promised can be released to you, even if it does not exist
- told the firm will buy back the shares or investment that you have lost money on
- told by the scammers that they know you have been a victim of fraud and offer to recover your money for you
- asked for your bank account details so they can pay the recovered money into it - instead of getting your money back, the fraudsters may try to empty your bank account.
Step 4: Avoid being scammed again
Follow these steps to help you avoid scams in the future.