Investment scams can look like great deals and get-rich-quick schemes. But we show your business what to look out for.
Get advice before you invest
To help your business to invest, contact an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA).
And talk it over at work, or to your friends and family, as it may help with a decision.
Use the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
The FCA site has a register of companies who are allowed to offer products and services.
It also gives advice on how to:
- find an IFA
- how to spot a scam
- avoid fake companies.
Go to the FCA website.
Make sure a site is genuine
Fraudsters can use a fake site as part of a scam. This can be good copy of the real thing. So look for these tell-tale signs before you use a site, log on or fill in any business or banking details:
Wrong site address - Check that it’s spelt correctly. If you’re not sure, type it directly into the address bar at the top of your screen.
Odd layout - The pages may not look right, with different colours, logos and spelling or grammar mistakes.
Lack of contact details - There should be details on how to get in touch, including an address, a business telephone number and even social media links.
No or bad reviews - Look for what others say about the site. If there are no reviews or mostly bad ones, it may be dodgy.
When you use a site, look for the closed padlock image in the address bar. This means that the link to a site is secure.
Secure sites will also have https:// at the start of their address.
But remember, these don’t guarantee that a site is genuine.
Protect how you pay
A scam investment may want multiple online payments, or for you to pay in branch or by wire transfer.
If your business uses any of these ways to pay and it’s a scam, it’s very hard to get the money back.
Common scams to look out for
The list below covers some of the most common investment scams. But there are many others to keep an eye out for, such as:
- Precious gems or metals.
- Land abroad.
- Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin.
That’s incorrect - Fraudsters put people under pressure. A genuine deal or company won’t mind if you take time to make a decision.
That’s correct - Fraudsters put people under pressure. If a deal or company is genuine, you won’t be expected to make an instant decision.
That’s incorrect – A genuine company won’t ask you to keep quiet about a good deal.
That’s correct - A genuine company won’t mind if you talk about a good deal.
We’ll never get in touch and ask you to move money to another account. Only a fraudster would do this. If you get a message like this, don’t reply. Use our top tips for spotting a scam message.
That’s correct, we’d never message and ask you to move money to another account – not even to secure an account.
Lloyds Bank will never ask you to:
- Share account details like user ID, password and memorable information.
- Tell us the security number for Telephone Banking.
- Tell us the PIN code or expiry date of your business bank card.
- Move money to another account