Boiler room fraud
It has come to our attention that a small number of our shareholders sometimes receive unsolicited telephone calls, which purport to come from Spectris, concerning their investment in Spectris plc.
I am writing to advise you that no employee of Spectris will ever contact our shareholders in this manner and to provide reassurance that we are taking the steps we can to minimise this intrusion.
The calls should be treated as scams and should be reported to the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) so that they can investigate. You can do this either online at the FCA’s website, www.fca.org.uk/consumers/scams/report-scam/share-fraud-form or by contacting their Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768*.
Spectris is obliged by law to make its share register publicly available on request. As a consequence, shareholder address information can be used to obtain telephone numbers and shareholders may also receive unsolicited mail.
Provisions under the Companies Act 2006 now enable Spectris to challenge making its share register available when the reason advanced for the request is not acceptable to Spectris and we intend, as necessary, to take advantage of these provisions.
The practice of Boiler Room fraud has been highlighted by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, and their warning notice to shareholders is reproduced below.
*free from UK landlines
FCA and ICSA Share Fraud Warning
Share fraud includes scams where investors are called out of the blue and offered shares that often turn out to be worthless or non-existent or an inflated price for shares they own. These calls come from fraudsters operating in ‘boiler rooms’ that are mostly based abroad.
While high profits are promised, those who buy or sell shares in this way usually lose their money.
The Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) has found most share fraud victims are experienced investors who lose an average of £20,000, with around £200m lost in the UK each year.
If you are offered unsolicited investment advice, discounted shares, a premium price for shares you own, or free company or research reports, you should take these steps before handing over any money:
- Get the name of the person and organisation contacting you.
- Check the FCA Register at www.fca.org.uk/register to ensure they are authorised.
- Use the details on the FCA Register to contact the firm.
- Call the FCA Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768 (freephone) from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except public holidays) and 9am to 1pm, Saturday (from abroad call +44 20 7066 1000) if there are no contact details on the Register or you are told they are out of date.
- Search our list of unauthorised firms and individuals to avoid doing business with.
- REMEMBER: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
If you use an unauthorised firm to buy or sell shares or other investments, you will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme if things go wrong.
REPORT A SCAM
If you are approached about a share scam you should tell the FCA using the Share Fraud Reporting Form, where you can find out about the latest investment scams. You can also call the FCA Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768.
If you have already paid money to share fraudsters you should contact ActionFraud on 0300 123 2040 or use the ActionFraud Online Reporting Tool.
More detailed information on this or similar activity can be found on the FCA’s website www.fca.org.uk/consumers/scams and http://scamsmart.fca.org.uk.