Before you avail of financial services, take a few simple steps to protect yourself
What can I do to protect myself from potential scammers?
Make yourself aware of the scams that are out there, and learn about spotting scams
- Make necessary enquiries, obtain independent advice
- Do not provide personal information about yourself or agree to send money until you are satisfied that the firm you are dealing with is authorised
- Check the Central Bank Registers to verify the firm is authorised
What do I do if I have engaged with an Unauthorised Firm?
If you deal with any unauthorised financial services firm or person you risk losing your money. Before dealing with any firm or person offering financial services, check if that firm or person is authorised to provide the financial services they are offering.
What more can I do if I find myself the victim of a scam or fraud?
- Stop sending money
If you believe you have been a victim of a scam or fraud, firstly do not send any more money to the firm/person in question.
- Report what happened
Immediately report the matter to your bank, the Central Bank and the Gardaí and discuss your options. Obtain independent advice.
- Avoid being targeted a second time
If you have been a victim of a scam or fraud, you are likely to be targeted again. This could be weeks or years after the original scam or fraud took place.
Often you may be offered what seems like a chance of recovering the money you lost on the original scam or fraud. This could take many forms but will usually involve sending some sort of fee in order to recover your money.
Some examples include, a supposed tax, government administration fee, re-bonding fee etc. The scam or fraud operators will often pose as fictitious government agencies, issuing you with fraudulent papers regarding legal action, non-disclosure agreements, copies of share certificates etc. Be advised these documents can look official and genuine.
It is highly unlikely you will ever recover your money from the original scam or fraud and this will usually be an attempt by the initial fraudsters to extract even more money from their original victims. Do not send them any more of your money. Report the matter to the Central Bank and the Gardaí.
- Beware of new scams
The perpetrators of the original scam or fraud may contact you again or share your details with other fraudsters. It may seem like a completely new investment opportunity with a new firm, website, contact details and personnel. Beware as fraudsters trade contact details with each other, known as 'sucker lists' and take the view that as you have been a victim of a previous scam or fraud that they will be able to persuade you to part with your money again for a new scam or fraud.
- Take steps to protect and inform yourself
Make sure you only deal with authorised firms, Check our Registers to ensure firms are authorised or contact the Central Bank directly on 00 353 1 2244000. Authorised firms are not normally in the habit of cold calling people with offers to buy or sell shares. If you are cold called you should be very cautious in your approach and take the necessary steps to verify the firm is genuine.
What if somebody contacts me offering a good price for shares I already own?
Always be careful before buying or selling shares, especially if you are contacted unsolicited by cold-calling or email/letter. Before dealing with any investment firm, check our latest warnings and find out how to check if the investment firm is authorised to provide the services which they are offering to you. Ask them for proof of who they are and verify it with us.
What if I have already dealt with an unauthorised investment firm?
If you invest with an unauthorised investment firm, your funds may be at risk, and you will not have access to compensation under the Investor Compensation Scheme or the services of the Financial Services Ombudsman. You should immediately contact the Central Bank and the Gardaí.