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Consumers warned of share scam

Consumers warned of share scam

Category: Money

Updated: 24/02/2010
First Published: 24/02/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Consumers have been warned that there has been a dramatic upturn in overseas fraudsters imitating firms and individuals registered by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

The body has said that it has seen a significant rise in this type of fraud, whereby conmen sell shares using the names, registration and addresses of legitimate businesses.

Recently, the FSA has seen instances where an authorised firm's website has been cloned, barring a few minor details, such as fake email addresses.

Customers receiving unsolicited calls or emails from a firm they are not a customer of have been advised to: ask for contact details of the person calling; check the firm's or individual's status on the FSA register; and call the firm back on the switchboard number provided by the FSA register to make sure the call is legitimate.

Anybody who believes they have been targeted has been told to call the FSA on 0300 500 5000 or report the incident on the it's website

"Our message remains the same: never deal with unauthorised firms. If somebody calls you out of the blue to promote shares, then you should be very wary of them even if they claim to be authorised by the FSA," commented Jonathan Phelan, head of the FSA's unauthorised business department.

Consumers have also been warned that firms not registered by the FSA are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, meaning people will lose their money if the business goes bust or disappears.

Last week, the Financial Ombudsman Service warned consumers to be aware of fraudulent calls asking for banking details.

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