The FSA (Financial Services Authority) of the UK has sent out warning letters to around 38,000 people who they fear may be at risk of being tricked into parting with thousands of pounds by internet fraudsters.
Recently a so-called ‘suckers list’ was discovered that had the full details of thousands of Brits that were set to be targeted by share-trading scammers. The list was found after investigations from anti-fraud authorities in the US, who swiftly passed the list on to the UK FSA.
According to the FSA a “significant number” of people on the list were from the North of England, in Yorkshire and Lancashire, although a number of people in London and the South were also being targeted.
The matter is now being handled by the Unauthorised Business department of the FSA, who are in charge of dealing with and prosecuting nefarious financers and shady share traders, or ‘boiler rooms’.
Boiler rooms are known to produce these ‘sucker lists’ and pass them around via fraud rings, the lists are compiled through shareholder registers, it is thought that as many as 150 different boiler rooms can operate scams using the same list.
People who succumb to such scams can lose anything from hundreds to thousands to millions of pounds. The FSA suspect that the list found is still being used, hence the letters sent in an attempt to scupper the plans of the criminals.
Head of Unauthorised Business at the FSA, Jonathan Phelan said: “We are hoping that we’ve caught this list in its early stages of usage and that few of the people on it will have been contacted. What I am hoping is that anyone who has been scammed by one of these operators could give us the bank account details of where their money was transferred to so we might be able to freeze the cash, giving us a good chance of catching some of those involved.”