Boiler Room Scams

In recent years, many companies have become aware that their shareholders have received unsolicited phone calls or correspondence concerning investment matters. These are typically from overseas based ‘brokers’ who target UK shareholders, offering to sell them what often turn out to be worthless or high risk shares in US or UK investments. These operations are commonly known as ‘boiler rooms’. These ‘brokers’ can be very persistent and extremely persuasive, and a 2006 survey by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has reported that the average amount lost by investors is around £20,000.

It is not just the novice investor that has been duped in this way; many of the victims had been successfully investing for several years. Shareholders are advised to be very wary of any unsolicited advice, offers to buy shares at a discount or offers of free company reports. If you receive any unsolicited investment advice:

  • Make sure you get the correct name of the person and organisation.
  • Check that they are properly authorised by the FSA before getting involved by visiting www.fsa.gov.uk/register/ and contacting the firm using the details on the register
  • Report the matter to the FSA either by calling 0800 111 6768 or visiting www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/consumerinformation.
  • If the calls persist, hang up.

If you deal with an unauthorised firm, you will not be eligible to receive payment under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. The FSA can be contacted by completing an online form at www.fsa.gov.uk/Pages/Doing/Regulated/Law/Alerts/form.shtml.

Details of any share dealing facilities that the company endorses will be included in company mailings.

More detailed information on this or similar activity can be found on the FSA’s website at www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/consumerinformation.

Shareholder Security

Shareholders are advised to be wary of any unsolicited advice, offers to buy shares at a discount or offers of free reports about the Company. Details of any share dealing facilities that the Company endorses will be included in the Company’s mailings or on our website. More detailed information can be found at www.fsa.gov.uk/consumerinformation.

Unsolicited Mail

The Company is obliged by law to make its share register publicly available, subject to a “proper purpose” test, should a request be received. As a consequence, some shareholders may receive unsolicited mail. To limit the amount of unsolicited mail received, please contact: The Mailing Preference Service (MPS), DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London W1W 8SS or register online at www.mpsonline.org.uk. The Mailing Preference Service is an independent organisation which offers a free service to the public within the UK. Registering with them will help stop most unsolicited consumer advertising material.