The Company is obliged by law to make its share register publicly available and, as a result, some shareholders may receive unsolicited mail. In addition, many companies have become aware that their shareholders have received unsolicited phone calls or correspondence, typically from overseas ‘brokers’, concerning investment matters.
These callers can be very persistent and extremely persuasive and their activities have resulted in considerable losses for some investors. It is not just the novice investor that has been deceived in this way; many of the victims have been successfully investing for several years. Shareholders are advised to be very wary of any unsolicited advice, offers to buy shares at a discount or offers of free company reports. Please keep in mind that firms authorised by the FCA are unlikely to contact you out of the blue with an offer to buy or sell shares.
If you receive any unsolicited mail or investment advice:
- make sure you get the correct name of the person and organisation
- check the Finance Conduct Authority (FCA) Financial Service Register to ensure they are authorised at www.fca.org.uk/consumers
- 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the FCA Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768 if there are no contact details on the Register or you are told they are out of date
- beware of fraudsters claiming to be from an authorised firm, copying its website or giving you false contact details
- search the list of unauthorised firms and individuals to avoid doing business with them and report a share scam or unauthorised firm by telling the FCA using the share fraud reporting form at www.fca.org.uk/scams
- if the unsolicited phone calls persist, hang up
- if you wish to limit the amount of unsolicited mail you receive, contact The Mailing Preference Service, FREEPOST 29 (LON20771), London W1E 0ZT or visit the website at www.mpsonline.org.uk
If you deal with an unauthorised firm, you will not be eligible to receive payment under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. If you have already paid money to share fraudsters you should contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.