Fine Art Investment Fraud
People nationwide are receiving cold calls and are being persuaded to invest in 'Fine Art'.
Concerns around this include:
• How the commodity is being offered, such as how the cold callers persuade victims to part with their money.
• Hidden costs charged to the victims to view the product, shipping costs or additional fees to store the item.
How to protect yourself:
If the investment sounds too good to be true it probably is.
Hang-up on investment cold calls. Legitimate companies will not ring-up and offer you an investment out of the blue.
Do not give out personal financial information to cold callers
Check whether the art dealer is a member of a trade association, such as The Society of London Art Dealers (SLAD), The Association of Art and Antique Dealers (LAPADA), The British Art Dealers Association (BADA) or Confederation of International Dealers in Art Work (CINOA).
Request copies of old receipts, invoices and question the history of the previous owner of the art investment, to check if the product is genuine before investing.
'We Are Holding a Parcel' scam postcards
Scam postcards are being delivered to UK residents’ homes claiming that a parcel containing “jewellery” is waiting for the homeowner.
Spot It, Stop It
A couple of tips from Avon & Somerset Police as part of their anti-fraud campaign:
• At the door:
Be wary of cold callers or bogus tradespeople that put you under pressure to act straightaway. Genuine tradespeople won’t mind waiting a day or two and will always offer cooling off periods.
• Through email or post:
Be wary of bogus emails or letters which appear to be from legitimate organisations and request personal or financial information. Never click on email links or attachments as these can direct you to hoax log-on pages or download viruses onto your computer.
For more tips, visit www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/stop-fraud
If you have any information about suspicious incidents or activity please telephone the police on the general number 101. Please remember to ask the call handler to mark, or tag, your call `NHW' (Neighbourhood Watch). NHW office 01823-363348
If you have information about any crime, phone the police on 101 or you can call anonymously to the independent charity CRIMESTOPPERS 0800 555 111.
For general information about Neighbourhood Watch nationally see the www.ourwatch.org.uk website.
Thanks to David Duckworth, Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator, for supplying this information.