Between June and November 2016, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) received 2,142 reports of scams or unauthorised firms. As investment opportunities and scams can be difficult to tell apart, the FCA is urging people to take their time when checking investment offers before going ahead.
Recent research by the FCA revealed a fifth of over 55s with above average incomes suspect they were targeted by a fraudulent investment scam in the past three years. This increased to a third of those aged 75 and over.
On average, victims of investment fraud lost £32,000  each in 2016. Despite the number of people potentially contacted by scammers, one in eight of over 55s who invested in financial products spent little or no time researching them before handing over money.
It's important to be aware of investment fraudsters and their tactics. In many cases, they have professional looking websites to entice victims and make them feel their service is genuine.
Interestingly, only 27 per cent of people sought professional, impartial advice to help with their investment choices - something the FCA encourages consumers to do before investing.
Making a significant financial investment is an important decision - be prudent, do your homework and be especially on guard if contracted out of the blue by someone you don’t know.
Look out for investment scams - you’ve worked hard for your pension savings. Following these simples steps can help keep your money safe. For more on scams, check out our pensions explained article.
For more information on Investment scams and top tips from the FCA, take a look at their website.