Personal Finance: Investors Warned to Be on Guard

Article excerpt

The City watchdog has warned investors to be on their guard against unauthorised firms contacting them at their workplaces. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) said there had been a spate of cases where firms contacted people at work and used high pressure sales techniques to sell them investments.

It said the firms had been particularly targeting small businesses and usually asked to speak to the managing director or finance director but would speak to any employee in their absence. The regulator also warned that it had seen an increase in the number of investors who had bought shares through unauthorised overseas firms being targeted by groups who offered to sell their holdings for them. The firms demand an upfront administration fee. However, once the money is paid investors never hear from the company again.

Andrew Proctor, FSA director of enforcement, said: 'Companies contacting you out of the blue at work or at home offering to sell or buy shares should be treated with care.

'Don't be taken in by their glib promises of sky high profits or the fact that they appear to have UK phone numbers and addresses. …