ScamSmart - are you at risk of investment fraud?

There were 3,186 reports of investment fraud in 2015/16. In the same year, victims lost an average of £32,000 to these scams.

To help combat the problem, Rathbones is supporting a new FCA campaign called Scam Smart. Experienced investors and those over 65 with savings in excess of £10,000 are the typical targets, and it is important that we remain aware of the facts and best practice when managing your money.


How to be a ScamSmart investor

1. Reject any unsolicited contact about investment opportunities.

There are ways that fraudsters can pretend they aren’t calling you out of the blue. They may, for example, refer to a brochure or an email that they have sent you. That’s why it’s important you know the other tell-tale signs that suggest the investment opportunity is likely to be very risky or a scam.





Investment fraudsters may do one or more of the following:

  • apply pressure on you to invest in a time-limited offer, offer you a bonus or discount if you invest before a set date, or say that the opportunity is only available for a short period of time
  • downplay the risks to your money, or use legal jargon to suggest the investment is very safe
  • promise tempting returns that sound too good to be true, offering much better interest rates than those offered elsewhere
  • call you repeatedly and stay on the phone a long time
  • say that they are only making the offer available to you, or even ask you to not tell anyone else about the opportunity

If you ever receive a call offering you the investment of a life time, just put the phone down.

Go by the rule that if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.


2. Check the FCA Warning List

Do your own checks before investing; check the Financial Conduct Authority Warning List and the Financial Services Register to see if those that are asking for your money are the real deal.

The FCA Warning List is a list of firms and individuals we know are operating without our authorisation. If you would like to report a scam or an unauthorised firm, please fill in the details here.

3. Get impartial advice

Think about getting impartial financial advice before you hand over any money. Seek advice from someone unconnected to the firm that has approached you.

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