I'm a newbie to the forum and wanted give you lovely money savers a heads-up about the experience my 82-year-old mum has been through this week with a company called Alternative Investments (assetconsultingservices.com). I have already reported them in detail to the FCA, Action Fraud and have also emailed Rip Off Britain, so I won't give a blow-by-blow account here, just a summary:
This company's tactic appears to be to cold-call people and claim that their shareholding is underperforming, quoting a vastly reduced valuation and offering to invest that money in fine art instead,claiming a return of 15% over 6 months. Their sales technique seems to be to keep talking until the weary recipient agrees to having some paperwork sent to them, if only to get the cold caller off the phone. The company then courier over a 'Fine Art Purchase Agreement' (sent from Spain) a couple of days later and follow it up with another call. If the recipient rejects the agreement during this call they are immediately threatened with legal action, as the company claims that verbally agreeing to have paperwork sent through constitutes a legally binding contract to pay the money.
The company is not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (as stated on the FCA website).
This bullying, intimidating behaviour is a disgrace and I suspect that this company will be deliberately targeting more mature individuals, trying to scare them into handing over their money. They have already reduced my mum to a nervous wreck - a usually very savvy lady who takes care of her own financial arrangements without any assistance, but who was caught out at a vulnerable moment due to illness. If it can happen to her, it can happen to anyone. Stay safe, people!