We’re alerting all Octopus VCT shareholders about the misuse of the Octopus name by third parties who claim to be connected to Octopus or our VCTs in some way.
We have been made aware of cases where our investors have been contacted by fraudsters:
- Selling shares with little or no value in companies which may not even exist
- Someone offering to buy their shares at a higher price than their market value
These scams target existing VCT shareholders and will sound like attractive offers. The caller will often ask you to pay something up front, such as a bond or other form of security, which they claim you’ll receive back if the sale doesn’t go through. They may also ask you to sign a form preventing you from disclosing details of the offer. Please be aware:
These are fraudulent scams. They are in no way connected with Octopus or our VCTs. We will never call you to attempt to buy your shares or sell shares to you. If you are concerned about a suspicious call, letter or email you receive, give our Client Relations team a ring on 0800 316 2295.
Where do they obtain your details? Octopus will never pass investor details to a third party without their permission. Unfortunately, these scam companies take details from the VCT shareholder registers, which is a publicly available document. Home telephone numbers are obtained from lists of telephone numbers that are for sale via the internet.
Your rights to compensation. In many cases, these share scam companies are based overseas, although some may give a UK postal address and phone number. These companies are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) so investors may have no right to complain or claim compensation.
What should you do? If you receive an unexpected call from someone offering to either sell VCT some shares or to buy your VCT shares, particularly using high-pressure tactics, please hang up the phone. Cold calls from companies offering to sell you shares are unlawful and should be reported to the FCA or the police. More information is available from the Financial Conduct Authority.
Further information. If you have any questions about Octopus products or these share scams, please feel free to contact us on 0800 316 2295. Alternatively, more information is available from the Financial Conduct Authority.