Scam alert: Interactive Investor boiler room con
Moneywise's sister website Interactive Investor (ii) believes a boiler room scam is using its name and contact details to swindle investors.
ii has heard from two members of the public who were cold called by fraudsters claiming to be from the company and urging them to buy two stocks – Vectura and Blnx.
One investor has been conned out of £23,000 after transferring money to an offshore account to buy the stocks.
The scammers are following up their cold-calls with fraudulent emails, also purporting to be from ii.
Brian Gray, head of risk and compliance at ii, said: "The fraudulent emails look genuine but they include a false telephone number, email address and regulatory information."
The genuine web address for ii is www.iii.co.uk, not a .com address, which the scam email includes as a link to the site.
Gray added: "Reputable firms don't call clients to sell you investments over the phone. If you receive a call from anyone trying to sell you stocks over the phone, put it down immediately. We only ever take money through iii.co.uk."
If you think you have been contacted by, or fallen victim to, the ii or any other scammers, notify ActionFraud on 0300 123 2040.
For more information on boiler room scams, visit the Financial Conduct Authority's website at www.fca.org.uk.
The practice of locating your financial affairs (banking, savings, investments) in a country other than the one you’re a citizen of, usually a low-tax jurisdiction. The appeal of offshore is it offers the potential for tax efficiency, the convenience of easy international access and a safe haven for your money. However, offshore is governed by complex, ever-changing rules (such as 2005’s European Union Savings Directive) and, as such, is the exclusive province of the wealthy and high-net-worth individuals.
This is an umbrella term for an organisation, usually unlicensed by the financial authorities, which uses forceful, persistent and highly aggressive telephone sales techniques to sell unlisted or non-existent securities to private investors. In the majority of cases, the shares being sold are worthless and the boiler room vanishes, leaving the investor out of pocket. Although they boast impressive UK addresses, the firms operate from boiler room “hotspots”, such as Spain, Switzerland, Dubai, Japan, Bermuda or the US, so they are outside the remit of the Financial Services Authority.