We shouldn’t really have to draw attention to boiler room scams. After all, they’re hardly new. But police still reckon that these con artists will manage to take £300m from UK investors this year.
It seems that despite all the publicity share-selling scams attract, people can’t help themselves. We all know that if an offer is too good to be true, it is. Yet some hapless souls will still take it up.
The formula is always pretty much the same. That’s, sadly, because it works so well. Typically a slick, English-speaking cold caller (usually based overseas – frequently in Spain) phones a potential victim offering to sell shares, often in a real company.
Funds are duly sent by the victim to the caller, never to be seen again. And according to the police, this type of crime is getting easier as people seek a quick buck in the wake of the financial crisis (see Oxbridge-sounding phone scammers in Spain seduce UK investors).
The only effective solution is always the same too – as the police put it on Bloomberg “when a stranger calls and starts talking about your investments, hang up the phone, no matter how posh they sound”.