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Protecting Your Investment
The world of investing and share dealing unfortunately attracts fraudsters.
Shareholders are strongly advised to be highly cautious about any unsolicited phone calls or correspondence about investment matters, whether they claim to be associated with Informa PLC, an Informa company, an Informa Director or any other company or scheme.
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) reports that even experienced investors can be deceived and lose large amounts of money through what are ever-more sophisticated schemes.
From time to time, we receive reports from shareholders or members of the public that they have been contacted about investment matters that imply a connection with Informa or one of its subsidiaries.
Neither Informa PLC nor any Director of an Informa company will ever offer investment advice or make unsolicited calls or send unsolicited emails or letters about buying or selling shares.
Under UK law, companies have to make their shareholder registers publicly available.
Shareholder registers include the names of shareholders, their address and the number of shares they hold.
These details can be obtained without the company’s knowledge or control and used, sometimes in combination with other sources, to obtain additional information such as phone numbers.
There are many known investment scams in the UK. Some of the most common are:
- A caller offers shares for sale, which often turn out to be worthless or related to high risk US or UK investments
- A caller says there is an imminent offer from the company in which the shareholder has invested and offers to buy their shares at a price significantly above the current market rate. This may involve the payment of an administration fee or transferring the shares to the caller
- In January 2021, the FCA issued a warning over so-called ‘clone firm investment scams’. Clone firms are fake firms set up by scammers using some of the details of real companies that are authorised by the FCA, such as their name, address and firm reference number (or FRN).
Fraudsters can be very persistent and extremely persuasive, and often have websites that support their activities and claim to be related to the websites of genuine companies.
What to do
Shareholders are advised to be very wary of any unsolicited investment advice, offers to buy or sell any shares or offers of free company reports. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If you receive any unsolicited phone calls or correspondence:
- Treat any call with extreme caution – if called, the safest thing to do is hang-up
- Do not give out or confirm any personal information.
- If you have a conversation with someone, make sure you record the name of the person and organisation who contacted you – name, telephone number and web address if possible.
- Do not hand over any money without first checking that the organisation is authorised by FCA at https://www.fca.org.uk/register/. However, some scammers will copy the registration details of a genuine regulated firm. The FCA keeps a warning list of companies on its ScamSmart website https://www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart
Report the issue
If you think you have been targeted, you should report the matter to the FCA as soon as possible via their online form at https://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/scams/report-scam or by calling their consumer helpline on 0800 111 6768 from the UK or +44 20 7066 1000 from outside the UK.
You can also report any suspicious contact received via the Action Fraud website (www.actionfraud.police.uk), or by calling 0300 123 2040.
If you receive telephone calls, emails or letters purporting to be from Informa, or companies endorsed by Informa, and you are unsure if they are legitimate, please contact our Computershare shareholder helpline (0370 707 1679) or email our Investor Relations team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Details of any share dealing facilities endorsed by Informa are listed in the Shareholder information pages of the Annual Report and will be included in any relevant company mailing.
Tips on protecting your shareholding:
- Ensure all certificates are kept in a safe place or hold your shares electronically in CREST via a nominee
- Keep all documentation containing personal share information in a safe place and destroy any correspondence you do not wish to keep by shredding it
- Know when the dividends are paid and consider having your dividend paid directly into your bank rather than by cheque
- If you change address or bank account, inform the Registrar immediately. If you receive a letter from the Registrar regarding a change of address or bank details that you did not instigate, contact them immediately on +44 (0)370 707 1679
- If buying or selling shares, only deal with brokers registered in the UK or in your country of residence
Alternatively, for further guidance regarding your shareholding please contact the Informa’s share registrar Computershare on 0370 707 1679.