Beware this bogus funds scam

The Financial Services Authority has issued a warning about a company selling bogus funds pretending to be Invesco Perpetual. Ruth Jackson reports, and rounds up the rest of the week's personal finance news.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has issued a warning that a rogue company is pretending to be Invesco Perpetual and attempting to sell bogus funds. The FSA has warned investors to be on their guard for anyone attempting to sell them funds with the same name as Invesco Perpetual products or a similar name. The funds being marketed include an Asian precious metals fund and a gold and precious metals fund.

The real Invesco Perpetual has described this as a "sophisticated attempt at fraudulently acquiring investors' money". It has also reminded investors that the firm is not authorised to give out investment advice and would never make cold calls to make investment recommendations. Anyone who believes they have been approached by the fraudulent firm is advised not to respond in any way and to notify the FSA on 0845-606 1234.

The humble cheque has been saved from the axe. The Payments Council, which represents banks and payments groups, has announced that the controversial plan to scrap cheque books has been dropped following a public outcry. Rather than axe cheques in 2018 as planned, the council has told The Daily Telegraph that cheques will be available to bank and building society customers "for as long as customers need them". Pressure is now on high-street shops, many of which had stopped accepting cheques in anticipation of their demise, to start honouring them again. Last year 620 million payments were made by cheque, compared to 6.28 billion by debit card, and 1.88 billion by credit card.

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The European Commission has unveiled a long-term plan to cut the cost of mobile-phone roaming charges. From July 2012, there will be a cap on daily roaming charges, bringing the costs down to 40p per megabyte by 2014, reports Roz Sanderson in The Independent. At present the cost of making calls from abroad on your mobile phone is between 36p and £1.70 a minute, depending on your provider. Using the internet on your phone when overseas can cost up to £1.80 per megabyte.

"This has not come a moment too soon," says Ernest Doku of in The Independent. "People have been paying extortionate prices for the privilege of using their mobile abroad and millions have been stung by a nasty bill on their return." The cost of making calls will be reduced to a maximum of 35p a minute from July 2012 and no more than 11p for calls received. These rules will only apply while you are holidaying within the European Union.

Ruth Jackson-Kirby

Ruth Jackson-Kirby is a freelance personal finance journalist with 17 years’ experience, writing about everything from savings and credit cards to pensions, property and pet insurance. 

Ruth started her career at MoneyWeek after graduating with an MA from the University of St Andrews, and she continues to contribute regular articles to our personal finance section. After leaving MoneyWeek she went on to become deputy editor of Moneywise before becoming a freelance journalist.

Ruth writes regularly for national publications including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and Good Housekeeping among many other titles both online and offline.