Police warning over 'Boiler Room Scam'

POLICE in the Borders are urging the public to exercise caution following a recent fraudulent scam that resulted in a 79 year old man from Kelso parting with a substantial sum of money.

Sergeant Andy Leigh said: "This type of fraudulent activity is commonly referred to as a 'Boiler Room Scam' involving a bogus stockbroker who will either cold call a potential investor, or contact them via email, phone or post, and thereafter pressurise them into buying worthless or near worthless shares.

"The fraudsters are usually well spoken and knowledgeable and will target middle-aged men with previous experience of buying shares, whose names they source via share registers. Alternatively they will target the elderly. They may also 'bait' the investor by arranging a quick profit on a small sum to gain their trust, prior to duping the individual into parting with a much larger sum.

The fraudsters usually operate outside the UK and money is usually transferred to banks also operating outside the UK."

Both the police and the Financial Services Authority warn the public to be guarded and carry out suitable checks to ensure the person/company is legitimate and certainly not take sales pitches at face value. Anyone concerned can contact the FSA via their website or by phoning them directly on 0845 6061234. In addition, City of London Police provide further specific information on this scheme.

This type of fraudulent activity has been on the increase in the past two years and Lothian and Borders Police, through their specialised fraud unit, are working in tandem with partner agencies in response to all reported incidents.

It is requested that any person who has any information, or who may have fallen victim to this scheme, should contact their local police station in the first instance.