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FCA hails 32% fall in boiler room scams

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The Financial Conduct Authority says the number of boiler room investment scams in the UK fell by 32 per cent last year.

FCA figures show there were 768 complaints about investment scams in 2011 compared to 525 last year and just 97 so far in 2013. Despite the fall the FCA estimates £1m a month is still stolen by con men.

Speaking at an FCA financial crime conference in London this week, FCA manager of intelligence interface Felicity Johnson said the majority of boiler room frauds are based in Thailand and the Philippines with a significant number also in the United States.

She said three-quarters of all boiler room scams are perpetrated against men, with 32 per cent of those men aged 65 or over.

Under the City of London police’s investigation into boiler room scams, Project Mercury, it has made 53 arrests, 33 searches, charged four and held £1m under restraint.

Johnson said: “We are working more on dismantling boiler rooms wherever they are to stop them harming the consumers we protect. The number of victims reporting to us this year shows this strategy is working. We also issue alerts through the FCA consumer pages, website destructions and taking sites down and working with law enforcement.”

Bloomsbury Wealth Management director Jason Butler says: “There is more awareness about these scams now as well as enforcement and it is good to see they are in decline.”

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Comments

There are 5 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. male pensioners have lost money in thier pensions and want to recoup their losses- they want to feel as if they can still make a good deal but some are greedy and they fall for the smooth talking con men who deliberately target old men who want to feel that they are involved – Bernie Madoff knew how to do this with ease from his own jewish communities –

  2. stanley holmes 2nd July 2013 at 4:04 pm

    I have a client who invested in a share with a company called Matrix which I believe may br a boiler house operation , can you advise me how we can check this?

  3. Unregulated ‘advice’ involving unregulated products and/or pensions seems to be very common at the moment and therefore any action by the necessary powers is welcomed.

    When will consumers realise the importance of establishing the credentials of an ‘adviser’ or business before parting with their hard earned assets?

  4. Julian Stevens 3rd July 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Is it either logical or fair that regulated advisers are forced to pay for the FCA to pursue unregulated outfits engaged in criminal activities? Surely these fall within the domain of the SFO and other criminal law enforcement agencies?

    Just how wide and at what cost does the FCA propose casting its net beyond the activities of regulated entities? At this rate, the responsibilities of the police as far as just about any sort of financial crime is concerned will be deemed the responsibility of the FCA.

  5. There are a lot of these loathsome individuals out there scamming people, such as Gary Ward:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPauuwG8qHE

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