Public ‘more likely to report fly-tipping than investment scams’

More than four-fifths of the British public would report fly-tipping to their local council, compared with less than two-thirds who would report potential investment scams, the UK regulator has revealed.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has released this data in an attempt to encourage the public to report approaches from companies offering suspect or dubious investment schemes.

The data relates to the over-55 group, and shows that more than a fifth (22%) have been contacted by what they believed to be fraudulent companies offering investments in the past three years, but have failed to report it.

The report says that, while 63% would report such an approach to an organisation such as the FCA, this is still “significantly lower” than the 84% who said they would report spilled liquids on a supermarket aisle floor. or the 81% who would report fly-tipping in their local area.

TV presenter, host of Countdown and former star of The Apprentice, Nick Hewer, pictured above, said: “As someone who has been approached by scammers myself, I know that it’s not always easy to distinguish between a real and a fake investment offer. It’s vital that more people speak out to get these schemes closed for good.

“Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. If you are offered an attractive investment out of the blue, be suspicious, check the FCA’s Warning List and seek impartial advice.

“Better still, if you get a cold call, just put the phone down!”

The FCA revealed that over the past year it had received more than 8,000 reports of suspected scams, with 42% of all reports coming from Londoners, the most likely region to make such reports.

The FCA urges consumers to refer to its warning list, an online tool that allows users to check whether a firm is operating without authorisation or has been referred for potential fraud.

Last year, the FCA says, it returned more than £3m to victims of “unauthorised activity”, including investment scams.

Eugene Costello
Eugene Costello has been a journalist for some 20 years, and has written for a wide variety of UK and international newspapers and magazines.

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