Octopus Investments has warned its VCT clients that a third party is misusing its name and says shareholders have been contacted as part of an illegal boiler room scam.
The company says the third party has tried to acquire clients’ shares or sell them shares in companies which have little or no value and may even be fictitious.
Octopus is one of the leading players in the venture capital trust sector, with around £250m of assets under management.
Managing director Guy Myles says: “We were made aware last week that a number of our investors were being targeted by what we can only describe as illegal operations.
“All we know at this stage is that they are claiming to be connected with us, which is not the case. We understand they are asking for personal information or for investors to make investments and effectively steal money from our customers.”
Myles says that Octopus has informed the FSA of the problem and is trying to warn as many people as possible about the scam.
Earlier this year, the FSA issued a warning to investors following a dramatic increase in overseas fraudsters selling shares using the names, registration numbers and addresses of FSA-authorised firms and individuals.