A major residential developer has warned investors to stay away from a promised investment opportunity in the company which is a fraud.
London & Quadrant Housing Trust said that its name has been falsely used on an “L&Q Bond 2020/21 Investment Guide”, after the scam was revealed on Wednesday by trade publication Inside Housing.
L&Q said it “has become aware of a fraudulent document and website using its name claiming to be publicising an L&Q investment opportunity”.
It added: “We can confirm that neither the document ‘L&Q Bond 2020/21 Investment Guide’ nor the linked website are genuine, and would urge anyone in receipt of the document, or who has had any interaction with those responsible for it, to report it immediately to Action Fraud.”
A reporter for Inside Housing, posing as a potential investor, was promised a 12.9% return on a £15,000 investment after calling a number on the fake news site.
The reporter was told: “We really try and make this as simple as possible for the client, so your £15,000 is absolutely fine.
“There’s no fees or charges on top of that. You will receive your returns of 12.9% net of any taxes.”
Asked about details of the supposed investment, the respondent said: “Our clients do not have to worry about particular projects or even (company) profits – we do not want clients to get too held up in the complexities of the corporate structure.”
Small-time investors have been highly vulnerable in recent years as interest rates stayed low after the 2008 financial crisis.
People saving for pensions or for house deposits have searched widely for opportunities that could offer them a decent return on their money.
It has opened the door to many fraudsters, but also to some risky investment schemes.
The most high-profile failure was London Capital and Finance, which failed in January 2019, trapping £237 million of investors’ cash.
Individuals connected to the scheme are currently under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.