Protect yourself from Investment Scams

Chris Broome – Chartered Financial Planner

Another day does not pass without reading a newspaper story or watching an advert about some form of investment scam.

Whether it be pension savings; or an inheritance being lost; it can sometimes be a tough read.

Today’s article discusses how you can protect yourself or your loved ones from investment fraud, something which is on the rise.

Pension Cold Call Ban

TO avoid falling victim to investment scams, you need to remain vigilant when making investment decisions.

  • Reject unsolicited investment offers, whether made online, on social media, or over the phone.
  • Before investing, check the FCA Register to see if the firm or individual you are dealing with is authorised.
  • Also check the FCA Warning List of firms to avoid.
  • If in doubt, steer well clear.
  • Get impartial advice before investing.

Signs that should set the alarm bells ringing include:

  • Unexpected contact – while you may be on your guard for cold callers, you now need to be alert to contact out of the blue from all sorts of online sources, such as email or social media. The same applies to contact you may get through the post, via word of mouth, or even in person at a seminar or exhibition.
  • Time pressure – beware if someone offers you a bonus or discount if you invest before a set date or says the opportunity is only available for a short period.
  • Social proof – keep an eye out for fake reviews and claims that other clients have invested, or want in on the deal.
  • Unrealistic returns – watch out for fraudsters promising tempting returns that sound too good to be true, such as much better interest rates than elsewhere.
  • False authority – don’t get tricked by convincing literature and websites, or investments which claim to be regulated. Also be wary of someone speaking with authority on investment products.
  • Flattery – be on your guard if someone tries to build a friendship with you. They may be trying to lull you into a false sense of security.

The reality is this – there’s a lot of unfit and improper individuals out there hell-bent on trying to get our money. They use clever tactics to do this and often clever marketing.

Ensure you stay vigilant. If in doubt, email me and I’d be happy to let you know if I think (a) the investment opportunity is genuine, and (b) is it something to seriously consider, remembering bright shiny new fads tend to be just that – fads.

As always, the team at Longhurst are here to help. If you have any questions about this article please email us on