The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned that consumers are increasingly being targeted by fraudulent firms offering investment opportunities in graphene.
The UK financial regulators have received a large number of reports from people who have been offered investments in graphene, which is a type of carbon that may one day be used in display screens, electrical circuits and batteries.
Although millions is being spent on the research of graphene development - it is unlikely to be used commercially on a significant scale until around 2020.
Graphene linked to bolier rooms
When the FCA first uncovered this issue they found evidence of a 'graphene investment firm' on the computers of a suspected boiler room. Boiler rooms involve fake stockbroker’s cold calling people to pressure them into buying shares that promise high returns.
The regulator warns that there is a strong possibility of fraud with graphene because it is unregulated and it is difficult to confirm that you have bought the genuine product.
Protection when investing
- Remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
- Most firms promoting and selling investments graphene are not authorised by the FCA. Check their register to make sure.
- If you buy an investment product from a firm that is not authorised by the FCA you do not have access to compensation from the Financial Ombudsman Service.
- Check the FCA’s list of unauthorised firms to avoid doing business with.
For further information please visit the FCA website.
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To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.