How to spot an investment scam

Fraudsters are always out there and constantly changing their tactics so here’s some of the red flags that could help you to spot an investment scam:
  • Be vigilant - if a phone call or voicemail, email or text message asks you to make a payment, log in to an online account or offers you a deal that sounds too good to be true, be extremely cautious. If you get a call from someone who claims to be from your bank or financial services provider, don't give away any personal details unless you are satisfied they are who they claim to be.
  • Fraudsters often use very convincing tactics to get you to sign up. Beware of anyone trying to pressurise you into making a decision.
  • Fraudsters will make an investment sound very appealing and will often suggest that it’s less risky than it is.
  • Fraudsters are persistent and will often try to form a relationship with you in an effort to build your trust. Beware of anyone who calls you repeatedly and/or anyone who tries to keep you on the phone for long periods of time.
  •  You might be told that you’re receiving a very special and/or limited offer.
  • You might be told not to tell anyone about the offer you’ve been given.
  • Fraudsters are known to target previous victims of investment fraud, claiming that they can recover lost money. You might be asked to pay an upfront fee but these companies will not get back your money.
  • Some companies that run scams base themselves overseas to avoid regulatory requirements. Be cautious if a company that’s based overseas contacts you with investment opportunities.
Recovery Firms

Fraudsters are contacting victims of previous scams pretending to be a firm or a well-known organisation that can recover money that has already been lost. They ask for a fee to help them fund the activity.

Protecting yourself from investment scams
  • Talk with trusted friends and family about any investment offer you’ve been given as this could help you spot a scam.
  • Look out for clones of actual companies - they’re fake companies made to look genuine. Use the contact details you’ll find on the FCA’s Financial Services Register to get in touch with a company – not the contact details given to you. 
  •  Reject any unsolicited or ‘cold’ calls that you receive and don’t give out any personal or financial information until you’re sure you’re dealing with a reputable company. Find out more about cold calls and investment scams on the Financial Conduct Authority website.
  • You can find out more about fraud and cyber-crime on the ActionFraud website the UK’s national fraud and cyber-crime reporting centre.

As part of M&G plc we can also share with you the contact for our fraud team, 0207 004 8888, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, if you need to speak to someone you can trust.

Find out more



The Financial Conduct Authority has produced useful information to help you spot potential scams.

MoneyHelper's Guide to Scams

More impartial guidance backed by government and Money & Pension Service