Six companies which promised to recover investment losses for people have been ordered into liquidation by the High Court.
An investigation by The Insolvency Service found that five of the companies were connected.
Between them, they left members of the public with losses of more than £350,000.
The connected companies involved all had registered offices in London and were Claremont Partnerships Ltd, Brookepoint Ltd, Brookcourt Trading Ltd, Cotexx Trading Ltd, and Manor Trade Ltd.
David Hill, chief investigator with The Insolvency Service, said: “These companies operated what were effectively scam boiler room operations that had no prospect of retrieving lost investments.
“The Insolvency Service will not allow such companies to fleece vulnerable and honest people.
“We will investigate these abuses and close down companies if they are found to be operating against the public interest.”
The companies targeted individuals who had previously purchased investments such as carbon credits and rare earth metals from other companies, some of which had previously been wound up in the public interest.
“Exit strategies” were promised and substantial “advance fees” were required, which were in some instances represented as refundable.
In the case of Claremont, it also claimed that its guarantee which made promises of returns on sale was underwritten by Axa, which was untrue.
The sixth company, Etonstanley Ltd, resulted in at least £51,800 of losses to members of the public.
The company targeted elderly and vulnerable individuals who had already purchased carbon credits from companies that have been wound up in the public interest for trading without commercial probity and making false statements.