Investment and pension scams are often sophisticated and difficult to spot. According to the FCA, thousands of people fall victim to investment fraud each year. Scams cost UK investors £197 million with an average loss over £29,000*.

*figures provided by Action Fraud

Raymond James is supporting the ScamSmart campaign from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which aims to help investors stay safe online and avoid becoming the victims of scams.

*figures provided by Action Fraud

Warning Signs

Though the contact methods used by fraudsters may vary, their tactics remain the same. Be vigilant when making investment decisions and look out for these six warning signs. Watch the video below to find out more.

Unexpected contact

Traditionally scammers cold-call but contact can also come from online sources e.g. email or social media, post, word of mouth or even in person at a seminar or exhibition.

Time pressure

They might offer you a bonus or discount if you invest before a set date or say the opportunity is only available for a short period.

Social proof

They may share fake reviews and claim other clients have invested or want in on the deal.

Unrealistic returns

Fraudsters often promise tempting returns that sound too good to be true, such as much better interest rates than elsewhere.

False authority

Using convincing literature and websites, claiming to be regulated, speaking with authority on investment products.


Building a friendship with you to lull you into a false sense of security.

Fraudsters are becoming increasingly adept at what they do. Their methods can be extremely sophisticated and we must be more vigilant in response. They may seem financially knowledgeable and articulate, often with supporting documentation that make them hard to distinguish from those that they’re impersonating.

Be a ScamSmart Investor

Reject unexpected offers

Scammers usually cold call, but contact can also come by email, post, word of mouth or at a seminar. If you’ve been offered an investment out of the blue, chances are it’s a high-risk investment or a scam.

Check the FCA Warning List

Use the FCA Warning List to check the risks of a potential investment – you can also search to see if the firm is known to be operating without our authorisation. To check visit

Get impartial advice

Get impartial advice before investing. don’t use an adviser from the firm that contacted you.

Click here to visit the FCA website for more information about this campaign, and to access the wealth of resources and information on how to spot and report a scam.

Download the ScamSmart factsheet

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