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FSA warns 75,000 potential fraud victims

The FSA is contacting over 75,000 people to warn them they are at risk of being targeted by fraudsters.

Their names were found on lists gathered from firms the regulator believes were fraudulently selling investments in land or worthless or fake shares.

The list of 76,732 represents the largest number of possible victims the FSA has ever contacted at once. It says most people will receive letters but had only email addresses for 19,101 cases.

FSA head of unauthorised business Jonathan Phelan says: “If you get a letter or email from the FSA over the next five or six weeks, please read it, it could save you tens of thousands of pounds. If you have already been contacted by a firm offering you a ‘once in a lifetime’ investment opportunity or have already invested, then tell us. The information you have could help us catch criminals and shut down their scams.”



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There are 10 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. What about these cold calling companies selling carbon credits, is this a scam?

  2. AND what is more it is going to get worse, instead of being able to access their local IFA for economical and cost effective advice, these wonderful opportunities are going to come out of the woodwork post RDR promising “free advice and services without obligation” and will rip off thousands. Then of course even though these fraudsters were not regulated and disappeared with their ill gotten gains, the advising sector will be hit for another ludicrously high levy to compensate them.

    Watch this space!

  3. Don’t get over-excited. These are unauthorised firms so there is no question of the FS Compensation Scheme getting involved. But what amazes me is how people can be taken in by cold callers. What planet are they on? Do they never read newspapers or – even occasionally – watch consumer TV programmes. It comes back to the same old thing, if you want financial advice go to a UK independent financial adviser.

  4. All very worthy, but I suspect that it is spin over substance, and a desire to be seen to do something, rather than actually addressing the underlying problem.

  5. In fairness to the FSA this is just the sort of thing that they should be doing and in essence is what they are there for.

    Prevention rather that after the event knee jerk and inadequete reaction we have all come to ridicule.

    So rather than an enforcement division why not re-name it a prevention division. That means the FSA will need to interface with the end user rather more often than they have ever done.

  6. I think I have had one of these scam letters ! It proports to be from the Office of Fair Trading, but it demanded £575 to renew my consumer credit license!!! Obviously this is a blatent scam as no sane organisation would more than quadruple the cost (£110 in 2007) at a time when the industry is in crisis and brokers struggling to remain in the business.

    No I have seen through you this time you crooks! you can’t fool me.

  7. OMG David, I have fallen for the scam and renewed in January and haven’t had a reply…..I am a mug 🙂

  8. Silly me – I thought they meant all those IFAs on the receiving end of fraudulent complaints.

  9. There are thousands of IFAs who help their clients find the best residential mortgage or re-mortgage but never give any other credit advice.

    And yet they pay this extortionate sum to OFT. Read the requirements – you don’t need a CCL.

  10. From what I hear, the amazing thing about these scams is that people get conned into investing in them by people they’ve never heard of, whom they never meet and who aren’t on any sort of official register ~ it’s all done by ‘phone and mail. Yet still they send off cheques for tens of thousands of pounds then wonder why they either hear nothing further or why the pieces of paper they receive are completely worthless.

    Though I dislike the idea of the FSA spending my money on things that have nothing to do with the heavily regulated field of advice in which I operate, wouldn’t a wide-ranging public awareness campaign be a more efficient deployment of resources than sending out 75,000 individual letters, which is probably only scratching the surface of the total number of people at risk? Ad’s in the national press, a slot on BBC’s Watchdog programme, TV broadcasts, a page on the MAS site, maybe a dedicated website linked to that of the FSA?

    Then again, as we know all to well, efficient deployment of its resources, though a statutory element of its remit, isn’t exactly the FSA’s forte, is it?

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