Farmers warn of bogus callers selling ‘investment opportunities’

The Financial Services Authority is investigating claims that Genus shareholders are being targeted in an investment scam.

The move by the government agency has been based on information provided by Farmers Weekly after readers rang in, claiming to have been targeted.

The company at the centre of the allegations is called Price Stone.

Based in Madrid, the firm has allegedly contacted a number of farmers offering them shares in Genus.

There is no suggestion that Genus is involved.

FW readers say that a minimum investment of £3000 is required but that the share certificates either don’t arrive or they contain errors that render them useless.

Some readers also allege that a second team then made a follow-up call offering, for a further fee of £3000, to track down missing shares or correct mistakes in certificates that would validate them.

One farmer who claims to have been targeted was keen to warn others.

“You might think that you’d never be caught out but this is a very slick operation and it’s the hardest of hard sells,” said the man from the Midlands who asked not to be named.

“I was contacted more than 20 times and it wasn’t until the final few calls that I began to doubt the caller’s authenticity.

“I requested information about the company and they sent me a document about shares.

It looked professional but when you read it, it told you nothing at all,” he said.

There were no contact details on the brochure and the farmer said that the caller would not leave a contact telephone number.

FW has been unable to contact anybody from Price Stone about the allegations.

Meanwhile a spokeswoman for the Financial Services Authority has thanked FW readers for their information.

“We will pass this on and assign an investigation team to look into the company in more detail,” she said.

This investigation is ongoing. The spokeswoman was quickly able to tell that the company was not authorised to trade in the UK.

“That means any dealings will not get the protection of the UK complaints and compensation schemes.

You could lose all of the money you part with,” she warned.

Because of this, the FSA has warned investors against dealing with Price Stone.