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Investors must increase their vigilance in the face of a surge in sophisticated scams, a leading financial body has warned.
The Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice Association (Pimfa) says ongoing market turmoil caused by the coronavirus crisis has encouraged fraudsters to target those who may be looking for strategies to recoup their losses.
In response, the organisation has launched a campaign highlighting the personal information that genuine wealth managers and advisers would never seek from clients.
Speaking to the FT Adviser website, Liz Field, chief executive of Pimfa, said: “The current uncertainty resulting from the coronavirus outbreak, and what may look like quite frightening losses among savers’ portfolios, could lead to some consumers making rash decisions, or being taken in by scams that might offer them the chance to recoup those losses more quickly.”
The organisation’s campaign is intended to make consumers more aware of warning signals and protect them from financial predators, she added.
Last week investment firm Quilter also raised the alarm on the rapid growth in scams, warning that fraudsters could exploit steps taken by financial services firms to provide increased flexibility during the lockdown. These included carrying out more transactions online, sending documentation by email rather than post and accepting digital authorisations rather than a conventional signature.