News story

Recognising fraudulent contact about your investments

Fraudsters have been impersonating Official Receivers or claiming that they have been instructed to act on their behalf, stating that they can recover your funds for a fee. Find out how to keep yourself safe.

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The Insolvency Service is aware that fraudsters have been contacting investors in insolvent schemes claiming to be from the Official Receiver’s office or to have been appointed by the Official Receiver to help recover funds for a fee.

These approaches are always fraudulent.

Official Receivers or any agent legitimately instructed to act on their behalf will never ask you to pay a fee to get some or all of your investment back.

The Official Receiver can only make a return to you as a creditor in failed schemes if it is possible to identify and sell any remaining assets owned by the liquidated company you bought your investment from. All too often businesses of this nature have few if any, assets left to repay creditors and it can take several years to undertake complex asset recovery work and complete a liquidation.

Paying a fee will not make you a priority creditor, meaning you get paid faster or increase the chance of you getting any money back. If you are asked to pay a fee to get your money back someone is attempting to scam you.

What should you do if someone asks you to pay a fee to get your investment back

If you are asked to pay a fee this will always be a scam. The Official Receiver does not charge investors a fee to get money back and does not employ anyone else to do this on our behalf.

You should report to us all fraudulent contact from individuals stating they can get your lost investments back for a fee. You can also report these approaches to Action Fraud.

The Financial Conduct Authority publishes a list of known fraudulent claims management companies, you can check online if a warning has been posted about the company that approaches you. Just because the company that has contacted you is not on this list does not mean that they are not attempting to scam you.

Published 13 January 2020