VCT provider warns investors of scam attempt

VCT provider warns investors of scam attempt

The board of Amati Global Investors has warned its shareholders it has come across attempts to defraud them via a suspected boiler room scam.

In a statement on its website, Amati, which is a Venture Capital Trust (VCT) and smaller company fund provider, stated it had become aware that a number of shareholders of the Amati AIM VCT had recently received unsolicited telephone calls from a company offering to buy the shareholder's VCT shares. 

"This might sound like a great deal, but will likely come with a request for money up front as a bond or other form of security, which the scammers say they will pay back if the sale does not go ahead," the company stated.

It warned: "This is probably an advance fee scam - where you pay money but never hear from them again.

"We believe these calls to be part of a ‘Boiler Room Scam’ and VCT shareholders are warned to be very suspicious of these types of calls."

Venture Capital Trusts come with an income tax break of 30 per cent if the shares are held for five years.

But the tax break only applies to newly issued shares, that is, shares bought directly from the provider, rather than from another investor.

This means there is hardly any liquidity in the secondary market for VCT shares.

Amati urged any of its clients who have received these calls to contact the FCA.

It also asked its clients to provide it with details of the bogus caller, such as the phone number, the company name and the name of any individual given.

Amati became aware of the issue when it was highlighted to them by a client.