A fifth of investment fraud cases go unreported, says FCA

More than one-fifth of those approached by a suspected fraudulent investment firm will not report it to the relevant authority, according to a new report published by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

It has urged members of the public to get in touch if they have been contacted by a company offering what they think could be a fraudulent investment.

Its study found that, while 63 per cent said they would report a suspected scam, some 22 per cent of scams will go under the radar.

Interestingly, people are more like to report a spillage in a supermarket (84 per cent) or fly-tipping in their local area (81 per cent).

The FCA found that the most common reason not to report a scam was because they did not know how to report it to.

According to the FCA, it received more than 8,000 reports of potential scams last year, with the highest concentration coming out of London, followed by Birmingham, Belfast, and Guildford, Surrey.

Individuals and businesses can seek advice on investment firms, including those operating without authorisation, by using the FCA Warning List. The list currently contains around 4,000 firms to avoid.

Investment fraud is a serious crime in the UK. While more than £3 million was returned to victims of the crime last year, many more millions of pounds are lost.

Mark Steward, Director of Enforcement, FCA, said: “We want to say thank you to everyone who is coming forward to help us crack down on investment scams. It’s clear to see that by reporting suspicious investment schemes to the FCA, people are having a direct impact in helping to stop fraudsters exploiting others. But there is still more we can all do and we need the public’s help.

“We are encouraging people to speak out on behalf of their family or local community, just like they would report a crime in their local area.”

To avoid being a victim of investment fraud, the FCA advises consumers to, at the very least:

  1. Reject unsolicited contact about investments.
  2. Before investing, check the FCA Register to see if the firm or individual you are dealing with is authorised and check the FCA Warning List of firms to avoid.
  3. Get impartial advice before investing.

Carter Lemon Camerons LLP solicitors is a City law firm which provides legal services with a personal touch covering the full range of litigation issues, including investment fraud. For more information about our services, please contact Francesca Flood or telephone: 020 7406 1000.

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Carter Lemon Camerons LLP (CLC) solicitors is a City law firm which provides legal services with a personal touch to both commercial and private clients. Unlike many City practices we are happy to act in smaller private legal matters, bringing the same care and consideration as we do to large commercial matters. For more information about CLC please visit: www.cartercamerons.com or telephone: 020 7406 1000

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