Spot the warning signs

Scams can be difficult to spot.Fraudsters can be convincing and knowledgeable, with websites and materials that look identical to the real thing.

But if you’ve been contacted unexpectedly, or are suspicious about a call or text message, make sure you stop and check the warnings signs.

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, or you’re unsure if a contact is genuine, follow the steps below to protect yourself.

Check the firm or individual


Check if the firm or individual is authorised 

Almost all financial services firms in Europe must be authorised or registered by us. To find out if a firm or individual is authorised, you can check our Financial Services Register:

Make sure you always use the website address above to visit the FS Register. Never click on links in emails or on company websites. It could be part of the scam.

Check that the firm reference number (FRN) and contact details you’ve been given match the details on the FS Register.


Contact us

If you’re struggling to check the details of a financial firm or individual, find out how to contact us.

Our team can check the details you’ve been given and tell you if the firm is genuine.

How to protect yourself


  • treat all unexpected calls, emails and text messages with caution. Don’t assume they’re genuine, even if the person knows some basic information about you
  • hang up on calls and ignore messages if you feel pressured to act quickly. A genuine bank or business won’t mind waiting if you want time to think 
  • check your bank account and credit card statements regularly
  • consider getting independent financial advice or guidance before a big financial decision (MoneyHelper has information on how to find a financial adviser)
  • check overseas regulators if you’re dealing with an overseas firm (you should also check the list of scam warnings from overseas regulators)


  • give out your bank account or credit card details unless you’re certain who you’re dealing with
  • share your passwords with anyone (including your social media passwords)
  • give access to your device by downloading software or an app from a source you don’t trust. Scammers may be able to take control of your device and access your bank account


We take an assertive and innovative approach to preventing serious harm, setting higher standards, and promoting positive change in financial services.

Raising standards in new firms and promotions

Early and High Growth Oversight helps newly-authorised firms adapt to our supervision.

Cracking down on misleading credit brokers

Some credit brokers offer high-cost short-term credit without warning of the potential risks.

Getting to the gamers

We used specific techniques to alert different groups of investors to risks in our InvestSmart campaign.

We Inform and Protect Investors!

we work together to make a positive impact on Europe’s economy, our digital markets, and people’s lives.

Our Investor Alerts typically warn investors about the latest investment frauds and scams.