Stat of the day: 49,387

The number of Britons on a recently-discovered 'suckers' list used by 'boiler-room' scam artists.

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
The Financial Services Authority has uncovered 49,387 names that were on a boiler-room master list of potential scam victims. The watchdog says it’s the biggest ‘suckers’ list’ found to date and that it’s now planning to contact ‘every single person on the list’ to help stop them losing money (bless).  

Boiler-room fraud – when scammers persuade victims to purchase worthless or non-existent shares – costs would-be investors an estimated £200m a year in Britain. The scams cost each victim around £20,000, which is often never reclaimed.  

It’s the fourth ‘con’ list that’s been found by the FSA this year - but the practice is almost impossible to stop as the scammers operate from abroad, often Spain or the US.

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