The market uncertainty resulting from coronavirus has seen a rise of fraudsters. These criminals are often articulate and knowledgeable, using sophisticated techniques to impersonate companies and research their targets, making their scams look like genuine investments. Typically, experienced investors and those over 65 with savings in excess of £10,000 are targets for investment fraud, but it can happen to anyone.
Your security is our priority, so we have reacted quickly to help you and the financial advisers we work with to spot these fraudsters. Follow this simple checklist to protect your finances:
- Stop – Take a moment to pause and reflect before parting with your money.
- Challenge – Question any suspicious motives using our tips in the table below.
- Protect – Stay vigilant and report all suspicions to help keep yourself and others safe.
Here are some tips to help you stay safe from scams:
What are the warning signs?
- Unexpected contact, or repeated calls
- Requesting your PIN or password
- Requesting personal details or financial information
- Tempting returns that sound too good to be true
- Offering reassurance about the risks involved
- Exclusive offers
- Unnecessary time pressure, for example you’re told it’s a time-limited offer, or you are offered a bonus or discount if you invest before a set date
- Receiving a ‘clone’ email that seems to be from a real firm
How do I protect myself?
- If you get cold-called, the safest thing to do is to hang up. If you get unexpectedly contacted by email, it’s always best to simply ignore it
- A genuine bank or organisation will never ask for these types of personal details. Never give them if prompted
- Never give them if it’s not for a service you want
- If an investment sounds too good to be true then it probably is. Trust your instinct and do not proceed
- If you are told not to worry about the risks and that the investment is safe, don’t simply accept that it’s true
- If you are told the offer is only available to you, or you are asked not to tell anyone else about the opportunity, this is a sign it’s not genuine. Do not engage in any further communication
- Don’t be pressured into acting quickly – a genuine bank or financial services firm won’t mind giving you time to think
- If unsure, always use the contact details on the FCA Register, not the details the firm gives you
Remember: always get financial advice before investing.
Talk to an expert
Request a meeting in person or a telephone call with your local adviser.
*The initial consultation is designed to discover whether or not you would benefit from financial advice and there is no obligation on either side to proceed. Following the initial consultation, if you wish to appoint Lighthouse Financial Advice as your financial adviser they will explain and agree any charges with you before undertaking any work on your behalf.