Find out how graphene investments work, how to avoid scams and what to do if you are scammed.
Graphene is a type of carbon that may one day be used in display screens, electrical circuits and batteries.
Manufacturing companies that use metals like graphene tend to buy them in very large quantities, making them an unlikely investment for consumers.
We are aware that scammers are targeting consumers searching for investments online, in particular through search engines like Google and Bing. Although some scammers offer high returns to tempt you into investing, they may also offer realistic returns to make their offer appear more legitimate. Those offering or promoting products or investment opportunities found through search engines are not necessarily authorised or regulated by the FCA. You can check the FCA Warning List for firms to avoid.
How graphene scams work
Investors are usually called out of the blue, but contact can also come by email, post, word of mouth or at a seminar or exhibition.
There are usually high-pressure sales tactics, with pressure to invest quickly to get the promised high returns.
Because graphene is unregulated, it is difficult to confirm that you have even bought the genuine product.
How to protect yourself
Most firms promoting and selling graphene investments are not authorised by the FCA.
Even if an FCA-authorised firm is involved in the sale of graphene, because it’s an unregulated product you have no right to compensation if something goes wrong.
Always be wary if you’re contacted out of the blue, pressured to invest quickly or promised returns that sound too good to be true.
You should seriously consider seeking financial advice or guidance before investing. You should make sure that any firm you deal with is regulated by us and never take investment advice from the company that contacted you, as this may be part of the scam.
Read more about how to find an adviser.
If you have been scammed
Because graphene is not regulated by the FCA, your investment is not protected by the UK’s Financial Services Complaints and Compensation Scheme.
If you have already invested in a scam, fraudsters are likely to target you again or sell your details to other criminals.
The follow-up scam may be completely separate or related to the previous fraud, such as an offer to get your money back or to buy back the investment after you pay a fee.
If you have any concerns at all about a potential scam, contact us immediately.