Share Fraud Warning
27 March 2013: We have been made aware that some shareholders have been contacted by a firm calling itself IB Worldwide purporting to represent BTG plc in relation to a share offer. They have contacted shareholders by telephone from a number in Stockholm and then have emailed documentation. BTG has no relationship with IB Worldwide and has not verified its authenticity. Share scams are becoming more sophisticated and investors should always be suspicious when they receive unexpected calls. If shareholders receive such unsolicited calls we recommend that you read the Fraud Warning for Shareholders below.
Share fraud includes scams where investors are called out of the blue and offered shares that often turn out to be worthless or non-existent, or an inflated price for shares they own. These calls come from fraudsters operating in 'boiler rooms' that are mostly based abroad.
While high profits are promised, those who buy or sell shares in this way usually lose their money.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has found most share fraud victims are experienced investors who lose an average of £20,000, with around £200m lost in the UK each year.
If you are offered unsolicited investment advice, discounted shares, a premium price for shares you own, or free company or research reports, you should take these steps before handing over any money:
- Get the name of the person and organisation contacting you.
- Check the Financial Services Register at www.fca.org.uk to ensure they are authorised.
- Use the details on the Financial Services Register to contact the firm.
- Call the FCA Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768 if there are no contact details on the Register or you are told they are out of date.
- Search the list of unauthorised firms and individuals to avoid doing business with at www.fca.org.uk/scams.
- REMEMBER: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
If you use an unauthorised firm to buy or sell shares or other investments, you will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if things go wrong.
REPORT A SCAM
If you are approached about a share scam you should tell the FCA using the share fraud reporting form at www.fca.org.uk/scams, where you can find out about the latest investment scams. You can also call the FCA Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768.
If you have already paid money to share fraudsters you should contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
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