Share fraud and boiler room scams
We are aware that some shareholders have received unsolicited phone calls or correspondence concerning investment matters, and in particular, offering to buy shares at a higher price than their market value.
These are typically from overseas based ‘brokers’ who target UK shareholders, and will likely come with a request for money up front as a bond or other form of security, which the scammers say will be paid back if the sale does not go ahead. This is most likely an ‘advance fee scam’ – where you pay money but never hear from them again.
An alternative scam is where fraudsters cold-call investors offering them worthless, overpriced or even non-existent shares. We are also aware of instances where callers state they work for a subsidiary of, or on behalf of the company.
These operations are commonly known as 'boiler rooms'. These brokers can be very persistent, extremely persuasive, and use sophisticated means to approach and convince investors. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has found that victims of boiler rooms can lose an average of £20,000 to these scams, with as much as £200 million being lost in the UK each year.
Shareholders are advised to be very wary of any unsolicited advice, offers to buy shares at a discount or offers of free reports about Harbour Energy.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
If you receive any unsolicited investment advice:
- Make sure you note down the correct name of the person and organisation contacting you
- Check they are properly authorised by the FCA before getting involved. You can check if they are on the FCA-regulated list
- Report the scam to the FCA using their online share fraud and boiler room reporting form
- If calls persist, hang up
Protecting your Investment against fraud
We strongly advise you to only deal with financial services firms that are authorised by the FCA. Keep in mind that authorised firms are unlikely to contact you out of the blue with an offer to buy or sell shares. If you deal with an unauthorised firm, you would not be eligible to receive payment under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Details of any share dealing facilities that Harbour Energy endorses can be found on the Share Dealing page.
The FCA has further advice on steps you can take to protect yourself from boiler room fraud and how to stay safe from more investment scams. These can be accessed by clicking on the below links: