In recent years, many companies have become aware that their shareholders have received unsolicited phone calls or correspondence concerning investment matters.
These are typically from overseas based ‘brokers’ who target investors, offering to sell them what often turn out to be worthless or high risk shares in US or UK investments. These operations are commonly known as ‘boiler rooms’. These ‘brokers’ can be very persistent and extremely persuasive.
It is not just the novice investor that has been duped in this way; many of the victims had been successfully investing for several years. Shareholders are advised to be very wary of any unsolicited advice, offers to buy shares at a discount or offers of free company reports.
Details of any share dealing facilities that the company endorses will be included in company mailings.
If you receive any unsolicited investment advice:
- Make sure you get the correct name of the person and organisation.
- Check that they are properly authorised by the SEC or the FCA before getting involved by visiting the SEC or the FCA websites to check their status, permissions and contact the firm using the details on the register.
- Report the matter to the SEC in the USA through the SEC website or report the matter to the FCA in the UK by calling 0800 111 6768 or visiting the FCA website.
- If the calls persist, hang up.
In the UK, if you deal with an unauthorised firm, you will not be eligible to receive payment under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.