Protect yourself from Fraud
Our priority is that you feel secure when dealing with us. The following practical advice is offered to help protect you from fraud.
Fraudsters will often attempt to obtain personal information and money from customers of financial companies. Financial crime methods used are constantly evolving, so it’s important that you remain aware of the types of fraud people are becoming victim to so that you are better able to protect yourself.
How to stay safe
Often fraudsters will impersonate employees of the company. They will frequently use the brand logo and wording from the firms website to create fake material (documentation, email addresses, websites, etc) to impersonate the company.
Please be alert when:
• Someone calls, texts or emails you with an ‘unbelievable’ offer.
• You are asked to provide personal information by replying to an emailer or asked to click through to a website.
• You receive an email with poor grammar, spelling or punctuation.
• The email source is unclear or a company name is slightly misspelled.
We never ‘cold call’
A genuine investment company will never ‘cold call’ you. Don’t respond to anyone who attempts to sell you products, investments, bonds or cryptoassets with the promise of financial gain, simply hang up. You may be offered advice over the telephone, have payments requested from you, or be emailed links to bogus websites.
Resist the urge to act immediately, no matter how dramatic the claim or urgent the situation. If something seems too good to be true it often is.
Be wary of emails with urgent language, poor grammar, misspellings, or an unrecognised sender email address. Don’t click on links or open attached files if you have any concerns.
Never provide personal details in response to an email. You will never be asked for this via email from genuine company.
Never send funds to anyone you don’t know. Seek independent financial advice and/or legal advice before making an investment.
Phishing communications are made to look as though they have been sent by a genuine sender.
They are designed to trick you into inadvertently disclosing confidential information to fraudsters, or to paying sums to apparent legitimate accounts.
Phishing attempts can happen, for example, through letters, phone calls, emails, texts pretending to be from your bank or fund manager, and social media posts.
When you respond to a fake email or letter this may lead you to a spoofed website. If you click on a link or open an attachment this can implant malicious software or a virus onto your device.
Always be cautious with any communication which pressures you into acting quickly, into making a payment you are not expecting, or asks for confidential information. Always think twice before clicking on links or opening attachments from unverified sources.
Fraudsters may use the names and details of FCA-authorised firms, including Investment Fund Services Limited and its partners, to convince people they work for a legitimate company and to hand over their personal details and money.
‘Clone firms’ can be hard to spot. Fraudsters often impersonate current or past employees, using the company’s real details – such as its address and ‘firm registration number’ (FRN) – or fake credentials which look very similar to the real company. But crucially, the contact information provided will be the scammer’s own.
Clone scammers typically promote worthless or fraudulent investment opportunities, with Cryptoassets being seen as most preferable in the current climate. They contact their victims out of the blue, or target customers who search for investment opportunities online – creating scam adverts or websites that ask for contact details.
Boiler room scams
A boiler room is an entity that tries to sell you fake or over-valued investments. Their aim is to take your money and convince you that you have invested in something worthwhile. When you realise your mistake you normally won’t be able to contact them or get your money back, you’ll just be left holding a worthless investment.
Boiler rooms usually ‘cold call’ you unexpectedly or send you unsolicited mail. They are trained to be very convincing and will claim to be able to help you make above average returns.
Companies in the UK selling investments must be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You should always check on the FCA website that the company you are dealing with exists and is authorised.
If you have already been a victim of a scam, you may find yourself targeted again by fraudsters claiming they can trace lost monies or sell the worthless investment for an upfront fee, but you will receive nothing for your payment.
They may even impersonate the original fraudsters, or the liquidators or representatives of the liquidators of the fraudulent firm. The real liquidators’ details can be found through Companies House in the UK.
If you suspect you have been scammed, break off all contact with the suspected firm or individual and be very wary of paying any firm or individual to recover your money. If you have lost money to a scam or suspect a firm of fraudulent behaviour, report it.
Viruses and malware
Some scammers use viruses and malware to attack computers and take them over to get access to information such as security data. They can then access your account and assets. There are simple steps you can take to protect yourself:
• keep your anti-virus software up to date
• don’t open suspicious looking emails or email attachments
• be vigilant to any unusual activity on your computer
Investment Fund Services Limited – Alerts
Below is a list of scams and fraudulent third-parties known to have targeted Investment Fund Services Limited (IFSL) or its partners.
IFSL wishes to specifically inform investors that communications received from such third parties are not a representative of our organisation or partners and you should stop any further contact immediately.
We have been made aware that fraudsters are claiming to be affiliated with Marlborough Fund Managers Ltd through a trading platform called marlboroughfund.com. This website has been taken down but please take care.
Trade Union Trust
We have been made aware that fraudsters calling themselves Trade Union Trust have been targeting investors in the Netherlands to sell Cryptoassets and referring to its website tradeuniontrust.com. This website gives the registered address of IFSL for its operations with the aim of legitimising it’s fraudulent credentials. IFSL is the authorised fund manager for a legitimate fund called the IFSL Trade Union Unit Trust, which has no affiliation with the fraudulent company or website.
Want to check contact is genuine?
If in doubt about a contact claiming to work for us, don’t offer any personal information, hang up and call us on 0800 023 4567 or+44 207 964 1000 from overseas. Our lines are open Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm.
If you think you’ve been caught out
If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam, or that someone is trying to defraud you, it’s important to tell someone. Talk to a family member or a friend, don’t feel embarrassed. Fraudsters are often highly sophisticated and it’s all too easy to be caught out.
You can check what support there is available from the government or consumer advice bodies. A search online for “fraud prevention” or “report fraud” may help.
Finally, if you’ve been caught out, it’s important you report it to the authorities (listed below). If you report it, then they’ll be able to act. There may be others who have fallen for the same scam and your information may help an ongoing investigation or prevent another person having the same experience.
Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime where you should report if you’ve been scammed, defrauded, or experienced cyber crime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. You can talk to a fraud and cybercrime specialist on 0300 123 2040. You can also report using their online reporting service at actionfraud.police.uk
In Scotland, this service is provided by Police Scotland.
If you’re concerned about a financial scam, you can also report this to the industry regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). UK financial services firms must be registered with the FCA and they’ll investigate any unauthorised firm or individual trying to sell you financial services. The FCA can be found online at fca.org.uk/consumers/report-scam-us