The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is asking consumers who bought shares from Apex Equities or Great British Investors to get in touch as they may now be able to get some of their money back.
Both companies were involved in boiler room scams. Boiler rooms scams involve cold-calling investors to sell them untradeable, overpriced or non-existent shares, usually at an inflated price.
The FSA has recovered some of the funds in this share fraud scheme and can now make payouts.
What action should investors take?
If you have invested money through either Apex Equities or Great British Investors, you have until 30 March 2011 to contact the FSA. Investors who have been in touch with the FSA about this within the last year need take no further action.
If you bought shares through Apex Equities or Great British Investors (and you have not already contacted the FSA about this within the last year), you should contact the FSA, either through its helpline on 0845 606 1234 or by email
Background to Apex Equities or Great British Investors
Up to April 2002, investors paid money to Adrian Sam & Co, the law firm involved with Apex Equities/Great British Investors, in return for shares and investments.
These shares turned out to be worth considerably less than investors paid for them, if indeed they were worth anything at all. In addition, share certificates were not always sent to investors who purchased these shares.
Apex Equities and Great British Investors were not authorised by the FSA, and therefore investors were not entitled to get their money back under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Despite this, the FSA has continued to pursue Adrian Sam & Co with a view to getting more money back for investors.
Which? advice on dealing with rip-offs and scams
For more details on spotting, avoiding and reporting scams, read the Which? guides to rip-offs and scams.
June’s Which? magazine will include a report on scams. You can try three issues for £3.
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