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Irish Stock Exchange warns investors about 'too good to be true' scams

The ISE has seen an increase in attempted ‘boiler room scams’ in the past few weeks.

Image: David Levenson/Bloomberg

THE IRISH STOCK Exchange has issued a warning to investors about so-called ‘boiler room scams’ which are on the increase in Ireland.

The ISE has reminded people to be vigilant to potential scams targeted at shareholders in Irish and other public companies.

In a statement released yesterday evening, it said that fraudsters have been contacting investors unexpectedly to offer to buy their shares at prices higher than current market value. The unauthorised individuals obtain information and contact details by accessing publicly available shareholder lists.

Cold-calling is the most common form of contact, but email, post and face-to-face meetings may also be used.

A spokesperson for the ISE told TheJournal.ie that there has definitely been an increase of people reporting the potential scams to them in the past few weeks.

Some people had called the ISE to check if they should go ahead with the sale, she said.

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Many of the individuals involved in the fraudulent activities use high pressure sales tactics and tell investors that they need to make a quick decision if they do not want to miss out on a large return on their investment.

The offer to purchase shares will likely come with a request for bank details or money up front as a bond or other form of security, explained the ISE.

The Irish Stock Exchange released a number of tips to any investors who receive an unsolicited call:

  • Remain vigilant – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
  • Take a note of name of the person and organisation that has contacted you.
  • Do not respond to high pressure tactics to provide bank details or arrange to transfer money if you are unsure of the bona fide nature of the caller.
  • Check if the company or individual is appropriately authorised to operate as an investment firm in Ireland by the Central Bank of Ireland. The list of authorised investment firms is available on the Central Bank’s website – www.centralbank.ie – or alternatively investors may contact the Central Bank on +353 (0)1 224 4000.
  • Obtain independent advice from a qualified advisor or stockbroker.
  • Report any unsolicited approaches in relation to your shares to the company’s registrar.

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