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Working Lunch Wednesday, 30 April, 2003, 12:46 GMT 13:46 UK
Share scam warning
The FSA has today issued an updated list of unauthorised firms that are, or have been, targeting UK investors.

The number of such firms of which the FSA is aware has nearly trebled in the past year.

No compensation

Because these firms are unauthorised, and often operating from overseas, anyone investing money with them would not be able to call on the UK's Investors' Compensation Scheme.

Typically, the firms targetting UK investors use hard sell tactics, often pressuring the unsuspecting into parting with cash.

Share certificates from these firms are often unforthcoming, so selling them on is impossible.

But often another unregulated firm gets in on the act, offering to sell the shares for an "upfront" fee.

Hard sell

One Working Lunch viewer, Faz Hussain, was cold called by a Spanish based firm, Reichman Advisory, one of those listed by the FSA.

He was shocked by their tactics.

"They rang me on my home number, mobile number and work number every few hours and gave a high-pressurised sales thing.

"They rang me every few hours" says Fax Hussain
"They were looking at an investment of 10,000 plus and when I suggested an initial investment of just 500 the salesman became extremely rude," says Faz.

Faz is not the only viewer we've heard from.

Another, who wishes to remain anonymous, has paid out 4,000 and has still not received any share certificates. He's now been asked to cough up a further 12,000.

The Financial Services Authority's Carol Sergeant says: "You may be lucky and have no problems but if you do, you will have no complaints or compensation scheme to turn to and you could lose all your money."

But perhaps most importantly, the key thing is to not part with any money or credit card details until you have checked out the company through the FSA.

The FSA's list of unauthorised firms:

K P Allen
Berkshire Tax Consultants
Cambridge Global Inc
Carter James SL
Chamberlin Management Inc
Chapman Foster Group SL
Condor Research
Fielding Clifford
First Chartered Capital Corp/First Colonial Trust
Globeshare
Hamilton Asset Management
Hoffman Philips SL
Hopkins, Pierce & Co Limited
Hyda Florsbanc

Jefferson Management
Kline Management Group
Livingstone Asset Management
Mercantilebanc Securities Inc
Millennium Financial Ltd
Morgan Young Financial Consultants
Morrison Cross Financial Investments Ltd
Norwich Capital Mutual Funds Limited
Pacific Federal SA
Phoenix Asset Management SA
Phoenix Partners SL
Premier Equities Limited
Reichman Advisory SL
Smith Fairchild
Stanley Riebeck Corporation
Stein Banc Commerce
Sukomo Group
Thibault Capital Markets
Trident Market Advisors
Union Partners SL (formerly Goldberg Kravitz SL)
Walker Stone
Waterhouse Scott Ltd
Webster, Cohen & Galombik Inc
West Shore Ventures Limited
Willmont Financial SL
Windsor Asset Management
World Trade Financial Corporation

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