A company called London Prestige Capital is cold calling people who have been scammed into buying carbon credits and offering them an exit strategy. For an advance fee. If they contact you, I would suggest contacting Action Fraud.
In recent weeks, several people have commented on REDD-Monitor, pointing out that London Prestige Capital has cold called them (see the discussion, here).
On its website, the company claims that,
“At London Prestige Capital (LPC), we realise the importance of a strong relationship between clients and advisors.”
But at least when it comes carbon credits, the evidence is that the company starts off its relationships with a series of half-truths and lies.
London Prestige Capital’s message varies, depending who they are talking to. London Prestige Capital cold called “john arnold” and asked him to buy £2,000 of gold bullion, in order to open an account with the firm. Two weeks later, he received an email from London Prestige Capital explaining that the company doesn’t deal in carbon trading, his carbon credits were worth somewhere between 1p and 70p, but they would try to find individuals or companies who wanted to offset their emissions and put them in touch with him.
London Prestige Capital told “Rosemary Oates” that they could sell her carbon credits if she handed over £1,000.
When they cold called Frank J, he bargained the amount of gold he would need to buy from £1,500 to £1,000. London Prestige Capital told him,
“we will then start to pitch your VCUs through our Corporate and Retail Sales Desks. The minimum we will be looking to achieve will be GBP 3.10. and the maximum would be GBP 5.20 This can be achieved within a three to six month time frame.”
And London Prestige Capital had a similar message for “John Gould”:
“Once we have the relevant information, we will then start to pitch your VCUs through our Corporate and Retail Sales Desks. The minimum we will be looking to achieve will be GBP 4.18 and the maximum would be GBP 5.16. This can be achieved within a three to six month time frame and you will be kept up to date via our monthly trading report through your designated trader.”
It’s all nonsense, of course. The next time London Prestige Capital cold call victims of carbon credit scams they will no doubt have re-written the script. Cold calling people to promote investments is banned by the Financial Conduct Authority. If a company rings you with advice about buying or selling carbon credits (or any other investment advice, no matter what they call themselves, or how impressive, honest and polite the salesperson sounds) just put the phone down and report them to Action Fraud and the Financial Conduct Authority.
London Prestige Capital was registered in May 2012 as London Prestige Contractors Ltd. The company’s website was registered (anonymously) on 16 November 2013. Three days later, the company changed its registered office and got three new directors: Mark Tolworth, James Hardy and William Sheridan. On 20 November 2013, the company changed its name to London Prestige Capital. The company’s founding director is 23-year-old Amar Hussein. The company is still classified as a construction company in the documents filed with Companies House.
The company’s address is 288 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 4QP. A company called Executive Offices offers virtual offices at this address.
London Prestige Capital mentions carbon credits only once on its website, in a list of Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) investments that are not subject to tax. The company offers investments in diamonds, gold, property funds and films.
If you’ve been cold called by London Prestige Capital, get in touch with the Financial Conduct Authority via their consumer helpline. Also report them to Action Fraud: 0300 123 2040 or via the website.