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IMA alert on fund scams

The Investment Management Association is preparing guidance for the industry on investment scams after it emerged that another product provider’s name is being used by fraudsters.

Thames River Capital has joined Schroders, Rathbones, Octopus Investments, Royal London Asset Management and Fidelity in the growing list of fund firms to have their brand names used by scammers.

An IMA spokeswoman says: “It is definitely an issue of which we are aware. We have been engaging with our members on it and we are in the process of producing some information which will help protect investors from this.”

Thames River has warned investors that an illegal website has been set up masquerading as Traditional Funds – the name of the Oeic that contains the company’s sub-funds.

It says: “Traditionalfunds.com is not an official website and if you are contacted by anyone claiming to represent Traditional Funds plc or making reference to traditionalfunds.com, we would ask you to advise Thames River immediately.”

An FSA alert on the Thames River scam says: “If you are an investor, you should be aware that the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme are not available if you deal with an unauthorised company or individual.”

It urges investors to check with the FSA register that a company or individual is authorised.

In May, the FSA warned that a list of more than 38,000 investors’ contact details was being used by fraudsters.

Informed Choice managing director Martin Bamford says: “Investors need to be very wary before doing business with any company, as fraudsters prey on people with money to invest. Investors should always check with their IFA before investing money elsewhere, particularly if the investment proposition has come by phone or email.”

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