Investors warned of share scam


THE IRISH Stock Exchange is urging investors to be vigilant after a number of attempted scams on shareholders this week.

Using publicly available shareholder lists, fraudsters have been contacting shareholders and offering to buy their shares at prices higher than market value.

Requesting bank details or money upfront as security, the scammers promise to pay it back if the sale doesn’t proceed.

“We’ve seen an increase in the levels of this activity this week,” a spokeswoman at the ISE said yesterday. “Contact can be by phone and it sounds very official. They might say there is a corporate action happening or a takeover and offer to buy the shares at an inflated price,” she said.

She said the call may be followed up with official-looking documentation.

While cold-calling is the most common approach, fraudsters are also using e-mail and post and approaching investors at conferences.

The ISE are advising shareholders to record the name of the organisation contacting them, not to provide bank details or transfer money and to check with the Central Bank that the company is authorised to operate as an investment firm in Ireland.