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32% of elderly targeted by investment scams


Almost one-third of over-75s believe they have been targeted by an investment scam in the last three years, new research has revealed.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has urged older investors to check whether investment opportunities are legitimate before handing over money, after finding that 22% of over-55s also suspected that they had been targeted.

The research comes as part of the FCA’s new ScamSmart campaign, which features an interactive warning list tool to allow investors to check a list of firms known to be operating without authorisation.  

Mark Steward, director of enforcement at the FCA, said: “Making a significant financial investment is an important decision – be prudent, do your homework and be especially on guard if contacted out of the blue by someone you don’t know.

“And remember, if you receive an unsolicited call about an investment opportunity that sounds too good to be true then it probably is.

“The best thing to do is hang up.”

Last year, victims of investment fraud lost on average £32,000.

Despite these figures, some 14% of over-55s who have invested in financial products spend little or no time researching them before committing.

Over-75s were the least likely to do little or no research, with as many as 26% admitting to having not done their homework.

Nick Hewer, who is supporting the campaign, added: “Duped by cold-callers, fake websites and online adverts, I am outraged at the persistent threat investment scams pose on society, especially those over-55 who are the prime target for these callous criminals.

“I have been targeted by these scammers myself, so I’m not surprised to see how many other people have also been approached.

“The amount of money that is being lost by victims is extremely worrying, which makes it all the more important that this issue is tackled.”

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