We take your security seriously. Financial scams are becoming a growing problem that leaves people impoverished and emotionally scarred. Increasingly we see fraudsters pretending to be from respected financial institutions, like James Hambro & Partners, to lure unwitting savers into parting with cash.
These precautions can help you protect yourself:
- Reject unexpected pension and investment offers, whether made online, via social media or over the phone. At James Hambro & Partners we never make cold calls to prospective clients.
- Do not be lured by promises of higher returns on your savings. Be wary of unusual investments or investments in complicated structures that you do not understand (these are likely to be unregulated and high-risk, if not scams). Offers to release cash from your pension (especially if you are under 55) are very often scams. Be extremely cautious if being asked to transfer your pension to another scheme, as it can be a long time before you realise you have been the victim of theft.
- Check the FCA Register or call the FCA contact centre on 0800 111 6768 to see if the firm you are dealing with is authorised by the FCA. If you invest with an unauthorised firm, you will have no protection from the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if things go wrong. Also check the FCA Warning List. Remember, if in any doubt – don’t invest!
- Sometimes fraudsters will clone a company’s website – it can look genuine, but small things may be wrong. The domain name may be misspelled or just slightly different from that of the legitimate site. Never follow links through from an email.
- Keep your computer’s antivirus software up to date to help filter out fraudulent emails.
- Do not be rushed or pressured into making any decision. The threat of a “time-limited offer” is often a sign that something is wrong.
- Be extremely wary of giving away confidential information. Do as many checks as possible. Neither your bank nor the NHS will ask for your PIN or account details.
A growing number of scammers are preying on single people through online dating sites. They build confidence over time through a series of online exchanges, often using fake profile images taken from the internet. They convince the victim they are in a genuine relationship and then make requests for money – perhaps for emergency medical care or to pay for transport costs to visit from overseas. Be suspicious of any requests for money from someone you have never met in person. You can perform a reverse image search to find photos that have been taken from somewhere – or someone – else. Talk to friends and family.
If you are approached by someone claiming to be from James Hambro & Partners and are concerned about their authenticity, please contact your investment manager. If you are not a client but have been approached by someone you suspect is not from the firm, please call us on 020 3817 3500.
If you suspect a scam, you should report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or go to the Action Fraud website.
Contact your bank straight away if you think you may have fallen victim to an impersonation scam.
Visit www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart for more advice and warnings about the latest scams.
The ‘Take 5 to stop fraud’ site also offers helpful information: https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/
Which? offers a free regular email update of scam alerts and more practical advice for staying safe. https://campaigns.which.co.uk/scam-alert-service/