If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. We and many companies have become aware that some shareholders have received unsolicited phone calls or correspondence concerning investment matters.

"Boiler rooms" are high pressure sales firms, often based overseas, that target investors by illegally offering them non-tradable, overpriced or even non-existent shares. Boiler rooms usually target investors by legally obtaining a company’s list of existing shareholders.

Many victims of boiler room scams have years of experience in investing. According to the police, the biggest loss from a scam like this totalled £6 million for one individual1. Shareholders are advised to be very wary of any unsolicited advice, offers to buy shares at a discount, sell shares above the current market value, or offers of free company reports.

The callers obtain your details from the Company Share Register. This is a publicly-available document, so it is relatively easy for someone to access your name and address.

They then look to other sources of information, such as directory enquiry services, to obtain your phone number.

1 https://www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart/share-bond-boiler-room-scams

What to do if you receive unsolicited investment advice

Obtain the name of the person and organisation contacting you, and make a record of any other information they give you such as telephone number, address and web address.

Check the caller is properly authorised by the FCA before getting involved by visiting www.fca.org.uk/register/. If a firm is not on the Register check the unauthorised firms list and report the matter to the Financial Conduct Authority either by calling 0800 111 6768 or by using this form.

If you receive telephone calls, emails or letters purporting to be from KCOM - or from companies endorsed by us - and you are unsure if they are legitimate, please contact our helpline for clarification on 01482 602711.

Details of any share dealing facilities that we endorse will be included in company mailings.

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