Hundreds of victims of boiler rooms scams got justice this week when three men were jailed for a total of 19 years after being found guilty of organising a £27.5 million boiler room scam.
Thomas Wilmot was jailed for nine years, and his sons Kevin and Christopher were locked up for five years each.
They controlled numerous boiler rooms that defrauded around 1,700 people of £27.5 million. The scams targeted the elderly and vulnerable.
“This was a highly sophisticated scam that made use of offshore structures to launder funds, put distance between the Wilmots and the boiler rooms, and ultimately disguise the nature of the business.
"That meant that what started out as a UK-based FSA [Financial Services Authority] investigation had to evolve into a joint, then global, operation to bring the perpetrators to justice,” said Tracey McDermott, the FSA’s acting director of enforcement.
A boiler room is an office where fraudsters telephone people and pressurise them into buying non-tradable, overpriced and sometimes non-existent shares. Those who invest lose all their money in the vast majority of cases.
You can find out more about boiler room frauds here
What to do if someone calls trying to sell you shares:
1. Hang up
2. Check the FSA Register to see if the person is authorised to sell shares
3. Call the company back using the details on the FSA Register to verify they are genuine
4. Report any firm that cold calls you offering to buy or sell shares to the FSA.