Scams Fraud

Scams and other frauds

Fraud occurs when someone obtains your assets by a deception of some kind. Fraudsters can be articulate and appear financially knowledgeable. They may have credible websites, testimonials and marketing materials.

We have in place robust infrastructure and procedures to combat scams and other frauds, but we encourage you to remain vigilant and patient at all times.

If you have any concerns that a scam or other fraud is taking place, contact your adviser immediately before you take any action, or email us directly at

Common financial scams

If an investment sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Scammers will usually call you out of the blue, but contact can also be by email, text message, post, word of mouth or at a seminar or exhibition.

The most common financial scams can be viewed on the Financial Conduct Authority website and include:

  • pension and investment scams 
  • banking and online account scams
  • fake FCA emails, letters and phone calls (phishing) - this is why we may require ‘call backs’ to confirm your instructions
  • foreign money transfer scams
  • insurance and warranty schemes
  • loan fee fraud
  • money transfer scams

Investment fraudsters will use a variety of techniques including:

  • downplaying the risks, or using jargon
  • promising extremely high returns
  • calling you repeatedly and staying on the ‘phone for a long time
  • saying that the offer is only available to you or is highly confidential

How to avoid scams – key steps

  • Treat all unexpected calls, emails and text messages with caution.
  • Don’t be pressured into acting quickly.
  • Never give out your bank account or credit card details unless you are certain who you are dealing with.
  • Only deal with a PRA or FCA-authorised firm: check the Register to see if the firm is registered.
  • Double-check the URL and contact details of a firm in case it’s a ‘clone firm’.
  • Check the FCA Warning List for unauthorised firms and people or investments to avoid.
  • Check your account and statements regularly.
  • The PRA and FCA will not contact you directly. If you are in any doubt about the authenticity of contact from the PRA or FCA, contact the FCA’s Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768

If you have been scammed

Report it: you can report the firm or scam to the FCA by contacting their Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768. For products FCA doesn’t regulate or if you’ve lost money in a scam, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or

Try to stop any transactions: contact the relevant financial services firm e.g. your bank or investment manager, notify them of the scam and see if they can stop any transaction or freeze your account.

Be wary of future scams: fraudsters are likely to target you again or sell your details to other criminals e.g. an offer to get your money back or to buy back the investment after you pay a fee.

Further information

For more information, please see:

Benchmark Financial Planning is an Appointed Representative of Best Practice IFA Group Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, the registration number is 223112. Registered office: Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurst Wood Road, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 4QP. Registered in England and Wales No 07572431.

The Financial Ombudsman Service is available to sort out individual complaints that clients and financial services businesses aren't able to resolve themselves. To contact the Financial Ombudsman Service, please visit

The guidance and/or advice contained within this website are subject to the UK regulatory regime and are therefore targeted at consumers based in the UK.