Updated 24 Feb 2020
It is almost March, how time flies! The tellows team has also been busy keeping the information about phone scams up to date. As expected, unfortunately, the number of spam calls, especially related to cost traps, is soaring because of more advanced technology nowadays and scammers having more means to escape from the authorities. Scammers have been taking advantage of taxpayers in last year. According to HMRC, over 100,000 reports of frauds were reported last year and the number is increasing. Last year, HMRC announced that it has been working with Ofcom, Mobile UK, Mobile Ecosystem Forum and Telecommunications UK Fraud Forum together to prevent bogus tax calls. The cooperation was successful and 1050 numbers have been deleted by HMRC, of which many numbers started with 0300. HMRC also stated that the number of phone scam reports has reduced by 25%, which is a very promising sign.
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has been informed recently of a supposed investment scam aiming at potential investors. The alleged victims are told that IKEA, the world recognised swedish company known for their modern architectural designs of both appliances and furnitures, are due to float shares on the stock market and therefore potential investors should purchase IPO shares (Initial Public Offering) before the floatation.
In response, actionfraud and Ikea have themselves issued an article stating that this is false and there are no arrangements for Ikea to become publicly listed.
This described fraud comes under the umbrella of what is called ‚Boiler room Fraud.‘ This is when you receive contact from someone offering investment opportunities which often leads the caller requesting a ’seal the deal‘ payment by requesting bank account details over the phone. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) report approximately 5000 people a year contact them on suspicion that they have been subjected to investment fraud. Unfortunately, around 10% would have already issued funds to the criminals. In addition, the FCA warns that out of these victims who would have transferred money to the criminals, the probability that they will be contacted in the future by the the same operation or have their details sold to other fraudsters would be increased.
Have you received a call of this exact scenario or of a similar nature? We would like to hear from you. Let us know by commenting below OR by searching the phone number on tellows that was used to phone you and leave a comment there to assist others in their enquiry to a suspicious phone call!
We used www.financial-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com:
Floatation: Floating shares are shares of a public cooperation that are available for trading in the stock market
Initial Public Offering (IPO): The first price for which a company offers to sell stock in itself when it moves from private ownership to public trade.
We also acknowledge actionfraud.police.uk for their content published on the 13th of June: Beware of cold callers offering fraudulent sales of shares in IKEA.