Recently a long-term client of an IFA almost got caught out in a complex scam. Having received funds from a maturity just before his retirement, he wished to protect his assets from the ups and downs of the stock market – looking online for an investment.
His search of the net yielded what he felt to be the perfect investment home – offering a ‘guaranteed’ return on investment of 3.5% per annum, on a fixed 5-year basis. The provider being one of the most respected in the business – the Prudential Fixed Interest ISA RMA Bond only served to put his mind at ease that this would be a safe investment. They even offered a 20-page prospectus complete with Prudential branding – all looking entirely authentic.
Luckily the client had the presence of mind to conduct a final check with his IFA – who failed to recognise the product name or description. He checked this directly with Prudential and discovered it was indeed a scam, with no connection whatsoever to Prudential. A convincing package had been put together using a reputable brand name, and the prospectus had been cleverly copied from other documents.
Prudential are now trying to find the scammer and place a legal obligation on social media companies to take down the fraudulent advertisement. Always consider that if an offer looks too good, then it most probably is. We’re always willing and on-hand to check these things out – so please do check with us before making any investment.