The FSA has issued a warning over an increase in overseas fraudsters selling shares by imitating FSA-authorised firms and individuals.
The regulator says that fraudsters have been using names, registrations and addresses of registered firms and individuals and trying to convince customers of their legitimacy.
It says it has seen instances where authorised firms have had their websites cloned but with different phone numbers and false email addresses.
The FSA says anyone who receives an email from a firm they are not a customer of should ask for the contact details of the person calling, check the status of the firm and individual on the FSA register and call the company back on the switchboard number provided on the register to make sure it is the same firm.
FSA head of unauthorised business Jonathan Phelan says: “It is encouraging that awareness of share scams is now so high that conmen are having to come up with new tactics as it shows our strategy is working. Sadly, however, this also means there is a renewed risk to investors and a new type of scam for us to tackle.
“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.
“If in doubt, make a report to the FSA – the more information we receive on a firm, the better placed we are to shut them down.”