Share fraud warning ‘Boiler Room Scams’

Share fraud includes scams where investors are called out of the blue and offered an inflated price for shares they own or shares that often turn out to be worthless or non-existent. Shareholders are advised to be very wary of any unsolicited investment advice, offers to buy shares or offers of free company reports. In some cases, the caller will suggest that there is currently a takeover offer for Marston's.

These operations are commonly known as ‘boiler rooms'. Callers can be very persistent and extremely persuasive. We are aware that they attempt to persuade shareholders to provide email addresses or other personal information. Shareholders should not provide any such details.

Shareholders who have received a ‘boiler room scam’ call may then also receive a call regarding a ‘recovery room scam’ call attempting to assist you with obtaining compensation if you have lost money previously. This is also a suspected scam.

These calls come from fraudsters operating ‘boiler rooms’ that are mostly based abroad. While high profits are promised, those who buy or sell shares in this way usually lose their money. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has found most share fraud victims are experienced investors who lose an average of £20,000, with around £200 million lost in the UK each year.

If you are offered unsolicited investment advice, discounted shares, a premium price for shares you own, or free company or research reports, you should take these steps before handing over any money:

  • Get the name of the person and organisation contacting you.
  • Check the Financial Services Register at to ensure they are authorised.
  • Use the details on the FCA Register to contact the firm.
  • Call the FCA Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768 if there are no contact details on the Register or you are told they are out of date.
  • Search the FCA list of unauthorised firms and individuals to avoid doing business with.

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you use an unauthorised firm to buy or sell shares or other investments, you will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme if things go wrong.

If you are approached about a share scam you should tell the FCA using the share fraud reporting form at where you will find out about the latest investment scams. You can also call the Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768.

If you have any queries, please contact the Company Secretariat department or our registrars, Equiniti on 0371 384 2274.

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