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Central Bank warns public to look out for unauthorised investment firms

The Central Bank says there has been a 100 per cent increase in complaints from the public about unauthorised investment firms.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

THE CENTRAL BANK has warned the public to be cautious about unauthorised investment firms, saying there has been a 100 per cent increase in complaints from the public.

The Central Bank said today that anyone who receives unsolicited contact from any firm offering services or advice about shares in another company should check if the firm is registered with the Central Bank.

It is a criminal offence for an investment firm to operate in Ireland without authorisation from the Central Bank.

The Central Bank said that that it had seen a 100 per cent increase in queries and complaints from members of the public who had been contacted by overseas firms.

These firms offered the opportunity to purchase shares in another company, or to sell existing shares they have in another company, often for an upfront fee.

The rate of return offered for the sale or purchase of shares by these boiler room firms is usually very high, relative to the initial investment made, according to the Central Bank.

A list of all warning notices issued on authorised investment firms is available on the Central Bank website, and the Central Bank also answers queries from the public about investment firms at 01- 224 4000.

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