We’ve recently become aware of several websites for fake companies imitating our brand, offering investments with attractive high rates of return. Investing in any fake products will mean that you will not have any protection and will most likely lose your investment. Our businesses work with law enforcement and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to remove sites and close down criminal operations – but it’s worth being aware and thinking carefully before you make any investment.

Read our tips below for how to spot a scam and remember: if it looks to good to be true, it probably is.

How to spot a fake website

Some common things to look out for are:
  • Limited information on a website beyond the homepage
  • Broken links to other parts of the site
  • Poor spelling and grammar
  • Promises of rates of return that are beyond the market average

These sites can be reached through searching online, as well as directly. The criminals behind the fake websites pay for adverts on Google and other search engines, and we’ve also had reports of fake comparison websites being set up to hook people in.

How you can stay safe online

Scammers will often ‘phish’ for your information or ask you to re-invest your money elsewhere, and many scams look convincing. To help protect your life savings from scams, many of our customers find it helpful to follow these 3 steps:

  1. Stop. Take a moment to think before giving anyone your personal information or money.
  2. Challenge. Could it be fake?

      • Anyone offering to free up your pension pot before you’re 55 is likely to be fraudulent

      • Any company offering you a free pension review is unlikely to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), although they may falsely claim to be

      • If you've felt pressure to make a quick decision or have been told this is a limited offer then it may not be genuine - for example, scammers have been known to send documents by courier, who will wait while you sign them

      • If you’ve been offered high returns with minimal risk or been charged upfront fees, this may be fraudulent and it’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore these requests.

  3. Protect. If you think you’ve been a victim of scamming, we can help. Please call us.

As you may know, many fraudsters are convincing and look legitimate. If you have any concerns, you can check whether the company is genuine at fca.org.uk/scamsmart.

Your help in policing these issues will be invaluable in preventing other people, including the elderly and those who are more vulnerable, from falling prey to these fraudulent and criminal activities.

Remember, we'll never call you and ask you to login to your account, or send you an email asking for security details or other confidential information.

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