The UK's Financial Services Authority has issued an alert that at least 10 recovery firms are targeting a scam at investors who bought shares through Pacific Continental Securities UK.

Many investors who originally bought shares through Pacific Continental have complained to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) that they are being cold-called by firms offering to buy the shares, or to put them in touch with a buyer – for a fee.

These so called recovery firms, often calling from outside the UK, are not authorized by the FSA and are not permitted to approach UK consumers to promote financial services. Commonly known as recovery rooms, these firms offer to buy the shares at an attractive price but demand an advance fee.

This is a scam – as soon as the fee is paid, the firm disappears with the money and without purchasing the shares.