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How to detect investment scammers, and how a fraud solicitor can help
22 Feb 2021

Professional scammers and bad agents are often very experienced at running their nearest business. The most important feature in the frauds is the appearance of legitimacy and they can be very good at this craft. Let’s look at the kinks in a fraudsters armoury while our fraud solicitors about how to manage these risks.

The veneer of professionalism

Fraudsters go to great lengths to fabricate professional looking websites and documents. With more business being conducted online, virtual offices can give the appearance of bricks and mortar investors in Canary Wharf or the City of London. When there is little more than a server running the alleged company site from overseas.

Our fraud solicitors have noticed the behaviours of a scammer and can differentiate them from a legitimate investment broker.

Cold calling on mass is casting a wide net looking for victims. There will be a free no-obligation promotional material like a brochure once they have your address, name and email which will be used to pressure you. The use of time pressure bonuses for stirring emergencies and promised discounts. There are rules about declaring risks to investors, which legitimate investment brokers will do. A scammer will avoid such subjects and emphasise how safe the investments are. When talking with a real broker, they will want you to understand and give you the information about investments in a clear way. A scammer will stay as vague as possible and as a defence against questions, will provide too much information to prevent future questioning. Improbable or generous returns in a reduced time compared to other investments. Time is valuable to everyone and regularly calling or keeping you on the phone for long periods of time is a pressurising strategy. Exclusive investments do happen, but it is with very large investments between individuals who know each other very well. If a cold caller is offering an exclusive investment and asking you not to tell others about this ‘wonderful opportunity’ it is very suspicious.

What is next step if I have suspicions?

Before taking on an investment opportunity, you should be prepared to do some homework yourself. If you are not able or willing to do your own research don’t invest. Avoid cold callers- you can find investment opportunities, they should rarely find you. The FCA Financial Conduct Authority has an online warning list that you can check the broker against. Check for the existence of the company on the FCA’s financial services register, and Companies House. Do not allow yourself to feel time-pressured or make snap decisions. Be aware that a company based overseas may be beyond regulations and prosecution if the worst should happen.

If you think you have been scammed, you should report it to the FCA, make a police report and get a crime reference number so that you can seek legal representation.

Here at ABV Solicitors, our fraud solicitors have a proven track record in prosecuting complex cases and getting our clients the compensation they are entitled to. If you have any further questions feel free to contact us.

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