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Share scam alert

In recent years, many companies have become aware that their shareholders have received unsolicited phone calls or correspondence concerning investment matters. 

These are typically from overseas-based ‘brokers’, working for firms that have become known as ‘boiler rooms’, who target shareholders, offering to sell them what often turn out to be worthless or high risk shares.

These ‘brokers’ can be very persistent and extremely persuasive. 5,000 people contact the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) about share fraud each year, with victims losing an average of £20,000.

It is not just novice investors who have been duped in this way. Many victims have been successfully investing for several years. Shareholders are advised to be very wary of any unsolicited advice, offers to buy shares at a discount or offers of free company reports. If you receive any unsolicited investment advice, we recommend that you:

  • make sure you get the name of the person and organisation
  • check that the firm is properly authorised before getting involved by visiting the FCA register of authorised firms
  • report the matter to the FCA either by calling 0800 111 6768 or by using this online form

The FCA publishes a list of these unauthorised firms on its website. If one of these firms contacts you by phone, the best course of action is to hang up. If you deal with an unauthorised firm, you will not be eligible to receive payment under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, or have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service. If you have already paid money to share fraudsters you should contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

GSK is aware that a small number of shareholders have received calls from individuals claiming to represent Westmount Associates, relating to updates on the company and offering an opportunity to buy GSK shares. On occasion, members of this outfit are introducing themselves as GSK employees. GSK is not represented by Westmount and has concerns that this may be a scam.  We would encourage all shareholders to check that firms are properly registered before engaging to deal with shares and report any suspicious activity to the FCA using the contact details provided above.

GSK is aware of the activity of a small number of third parties proposing to a swap of Amvac AG (Switzerland) shares for GSK shares and a cash payment. GSK has concerns that this offer is not genuine, believing it may be a scam and as such has notified the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, FINMA, of this activity. GSK would encourage all shareholders to seek independent financial advice before engaging in any share swap activity. 

Details of any share dealing facilities that GSK endorses will be included in company mailings.