Vulnerable older people are being warned of a new type of investment scam involving diamonds.
Owen Kyffin, partner at Whitley Stimpson, said: “This is a particularly despicable scam.
“Companies are ruthlessly targeting elderly people by telephone and promising huge profits through buying diamonds, some of which have been marked up 17 times their actual value. Some people who have parted with large amounts of money are wondering whether the gems exist at all.”
Owen said that police are investigating more than 250 complaints nationwide and that the scam was difficult to pin down because diamond trading in the UK was unregulated.
He said: “In the current financial climate and with low interest rates on savings some elderly people are looking for a better investment. However, if they are contacted with schemes like this they should first talk to someone with investment expertise before parting with any money.
“Trading in diamonds is done largely through private deals unlike other investments where a stock market reports prices. This makes it difficult to know if you are getting a fair price and it can also be difficult to sell, as this too involves haggling with a specialist.”
Whitley Stimpson has provided sound tax advice for more than 80 years. For further information or to book an appointment with one of Whitley Stimpson’s tax specialists, please visit www.whitleystimpson.co.uk or call 01295 270200.