The FCA has taken decisive action to prevent harm in the consumer investment market and earlier this month revealed in its Consumer investments data review April - September 2021 it stopped 1 in 4 firms from entering this market.
During this time period the regulator received 16,400 enquires about possible scams. These figures are a third higher than the same period in 2020.
The top types of scams being reported to the FCA included cryptoasset, boiler room and recovery room scams.
In the six months over 300 cases were opened relating to possible cryptoasset businesses not registered with the FCA, many of which may be scams, and there are currently 50 live investigations, including criminal probes, into unauthorised businesses.
The FCA is therefore urging consumers to be InvestSmart and ScamSmart, following an increase in the number of scams being reported.
The ScamSmart campaign encourages potential investors to check the FCA's dedicated website. This features an online tool and warning list to enable users to find out more about the risks associated with an investment and to view a list of firms the FCA knows are operating without its authorisation.
InvestSmart, launched in October 2021, targets consumers who are new to investing, and aims to provide them with information to make better-informed investment decisions.
Sarah Pritchard, Executive Director of Markets at the FCA said:
Consumers need to have confidence when making investment decisions and the data we’ve published today shows how prevalent scams can be.
Read the full press release here