While it is important that people are wary and aware of scams, it can be difficult to fully prepare yourself for every sort of scam or fraudulent act that may take place. Given that virtually every situation could provide a fraudster the chance to ransack your bank account or take money from you, if you were permanently on your garden you may find that you never got to live your life. This is why you need to take the time to be aware of the key scams, the likelihood of occurring and making sure that you are ready for anything.
This doesn’t mean shutting yourself from every opportunity in life but it does mean that you should be slightly cynical and aware of the dangers involved with a situation. You may not think that investment fraud or boiler room fraud is that big a deal because it is not one of the most commonly cited scams but estimates suggest that over £1.2bn every year is lost though this style of fraud. The average loss in an investment fraud is £20,000 and you have to ask yourself if this is the sort of money that you could afford to lose. A lot of people have found that their lifesavings or the money that they had put aside for better use in life has been taken from them. Very often, there is no recourse for getting the money back, and this means that people’s lives have been ruined in a very short period of time.
When you think that a boiler room fraud can take place over the course of one phone call, it is clear to see that this can be a quick fraud which has a hugely devastating impact on a person. One of the biggest issues surrounding boiler room frauds is that they don’t look, feel, smell or sound like a fraud. This is why they are so popular and why so many people every year are at risk of losing a large amount of money on these scams. There is also a big risk to the fact that it appears that the rich and elderly appear to be targeted with this style of crime. This is not an opportunistic crime being carried out by someone with an open telephone book; the contact is being initiated because there is a likelihood that the person will have money that will allow them to invest. There is a good chance that the person being contacted is a pensioner or soon-to-be pensioner who is looking to improve their income or give them a greater level of money as to enjoy their golden years.
The FCA is Actively Pursuing these Fraudsters
In 2014, the FCA managed to shut down over 60 websites linked to companies who had impressive looking websites. These firms know that people can talk on the phone and still access the internet via computers, laptops or tablet devices and this means that the fraudsters need to be savvy. Just because a company that contacts you has a website doesn’t mean that they are legitimate.
The FCA has announced some warning signs that people should look out for in possible boiler room frauds:
- A call or contact being made out of the blue
- High pressure tactics being undertaken by the sales company
- No risk or a major downplaying of the risk involved
- A return that seems too good to be true
- Being kept on the phone a long time or not being allowed to hang up until investment is made
While these are not all the common tactics of a boiler room fraud or indeed signs that arise every time, if you spot a number of these elements appearing in your conversation, you should be very wary. If you are uncomfortable at any point, you should look to end the conversation and hang up on the call. If you don’t feel confident about the investment, you should look to remove yourself from the conversation and give yourself the time to think about the offer and whether it is right for you.
In the modern era, defence solicitors are providing cover and representation for a growing number of boiler room frauds and it is important that people are aware of the risks involved with this style of fraud.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.