A sustained period of low interest rates is fuelling widespread investment fraud, according to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), with over 55s most at risk.
With interest rates set to remain at 0.5 per cent well into 2020, savers are adopting riskier investment behaviour to get more bang for their buck. Four in ten people aged over 55 have moved money out of savings and into investments in a bid to get a better rate of return, with 23 per cent saying they are considering investing in unfamiliar types of investments in the next 12 months.
Land, wine and art are popular ‘new’ investment choices, but while over a quarter have chosen to invest in unregulated investment products, 13 per cent were unaware that unregulated products bought through an unauthorised firm offered no protection from the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme if things go wrong.
Despite the risks, nearly half of those investing in unregulated products through unauthorised firms do so without getting professional advice or checking publicly available investor information. More than a quarter (27 per cent) of those who have fallen victim to investment fraud did so having bought an unregulated product through an unauthorised firm.
Nick Hewer highlights the importance of being scam smart and what to do if you’ve been unexpectedly contacted about an investment opportunity in this short video.