What is a boiler room?

A boiler room sells questionable shares via unsolicited telephone calls. It typically refers to a situation where a salesperson uses unfair, dishonest and highly pressurised sales tactics on members of the public; this may range from selling penny stocks to committing outright stock fraud.

Be wary of unsolicited calls offering you shares in a company you’ve never heard of. Don’t be afraid to put the phone down and always check if the firm is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Fraudulent firms will often ‘clone’ the details of authorised firms so if you find the firm call the number listed on the FCA register to make sure the person you spoke to works for them. Or contact the FCA Consumer Helpline on 0845 606 1234 or send them an email.

If you feel you are being scammed ensure you report your suspicions to the FCA.

Please remember that if the scam is based overseas (as they often are) you may not have the right to claim compensation.

Reject cold calls

People offering high risk investments or scams will often cold call. Legitimate firms are very unlikely to contact you in this way. If you’re called about an investment opportunity the safest thing to do is to hang up.

Check the FCA Warning List

The Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Warning List is a list of firms and individuals that the FCA knows are operating without its authorisation. The tool also provides information about the risks associated with a particular investment opportunity.

Get impartial advice

Seek impartial advice from a financial adviser unconnected to the firm that has contacted you before you make an investment. You can find an advisor on unbiased and VouchedFor.  PIMFA also has a list of FCA authorised financial advisers, stockbrokers and wealth managers.


if an investment sounds too good to be true it probably is!!


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