Warning sent to 75,000 targets of financial conmenFSA contacts thousands listed on share fraud lists

26 April 2012

ID fraud - hand stealing documents

Over 75,000 people will receive land and share fraud warning letters from the FSA

More than 75,000 people are being warned by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) that they're being targeted by financial fraudsters.

The names of 76,732 people appear on lists recovered from companies that the FSA believes were fraudulently selling investments in land or worthless, sometimes non-existent, shares (often known as 'boiler room' scams).

Most of the individuals on the list, whose names and addresses were known to the conmen, will receive letters from the FSA over the coming weeks. The 19,101 cases where only email addresses are listed will receive an email warning instead.

  • Click on this link to open the FSA's Operation Bexley warning leaflet (85kb), which contains useful advice to avoid share and land scams. To open the file, you'll need to have Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer.

Take action if you've fallen victim to a scam

Jonathan Phelan, the FSA's head of unauthorised business, said: 'If you get a letter or email from the FSA over the next five or six weeks, please read it – it could you save you tens of thousands of pounds. 

'If you have already been contacted by a firm offering you a "once in lifetime" investment opportunity or have already invested, then tell us. The information you have could help us catch criminals and shut down their scams.'

The FSA has set up a team to answer questions about the letter and investment scams generally. You can call the FSA team on 0845 155 6355. Major high street banks have also provided phone numbers for their customers. Callers should quote 'Operation Bexley' when they contact their bank:

  • Adam & Company - 020 7770 0015
  • Bank of Scotland – 0845 606 2196
  • Barclays Bank – 0800 051 6195
  • The Co-Operative Bank – 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)

Avoid falling victim to a boiler room share scam

Boiler rooms usually contact people by telephone and use high pressure sales tactics to con investors into buying non-tradable, overpriced or even non-existent shares. They are unauthorised, overseas-based companies with bogus UK addresses and phone lines routed abroad. 

Read our 60 second guide to boiler room share scams for more details.

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