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Often referred to as “boiler room scams”, these frauds are operated by people who contact investors unexpectedly and offer a variety of investment schemes. Fraudsters can obtain investor information, such as address and shareholding details, by accessing shareholder lists which are required by Irish Company law to be made available.
While “cold-calling” by telephone is the most common form of contact, they may also use email, post, face-to-face contact or approach investors at seminars.
Fraudsters often use high pressure sales tactics and tell investors that they need to make a quick decision or miss out on an amazing deal. The offer to purchase shares will likely come with a request for bank details or money up front, which will be accompanied by a guarantee to pay back the money involved if the sale does not go ahead. This advance fee is part of the scam; investors are unlikely to hear from them again.
• Verify and research the name and person and organisation that have contacted you. Often these searches may reveal warnings that the information is connected to a scam.
• Review documentation received for similarities e.g. Phone Numbers are the same for different individuals of different companies
• Don’t respond to high pressure tactics to provide bank details or arrange to transfer money if you are unsure of the genuine nature of the caller.
• Check if the company or individual is appropriately authorised to operate as an investment firm. The list of authorised investment firms is available here:
• The Central Bank of Ireland can be contacted regarding information about such firms on (01) 224 4000. This line is also available to the public to check if an investment firm is authorised. A list of all warning notices issued to date on unauthorised investment firms is available on the website: www.centralbank.ie
There are many types of fraud that could affect you, for information on these fraud types and how to protect yourself click here.
For up to date fraud alerts and information on how to protect yourself or your business from fraud please click here.
Investors should be vigilant to potential frauds