Like many organisations, BHP Billiton is the subject of false representations by unscrupulous individuals not associated with the company. The company continues to take steps to limit the impact on our customers, suppliers and shareholders. Some of the more common examples are noted below.
Hoax emails, claiming to be issued by senior executives and other company employees have appeared in circulation. These emails attempt to trick users into providing personal details in the belief that they will be contracted by BHP Billiton as an agent for the sale of our products and/or offers of employment.
BHP Billiton has a very stringent recruitment process whereby applicants are required to apply for positions through a formalised recruitment process. We do not seek personal details for any potential employees via unsolicited emails.
If you receive an email of this nature you should ignore it and delete it from your computer.
Any email advising that you have won money in a BHP Billiton "lucky draw" should also be deleted from your computer. No such draw occurred.
Boiler room scams
In recent years, many companies have become aware that their shareholders have received unsolicited phone calls or correspondence concerning investment matters. These are typically from overseas based ‘brokers’ who target UK shareholders, offering to sell them what often turn out to be worthless or high risk shares in US or UK investments. These operations are commonly known as ‘boiler rooms’. These ‘brokers’ can be very persistent and extremely persuasive, and a 2006 survey by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has reported that the average amount lost by investors is around £20,000.
It is not just the novice investor that has been duped in this way; many of the victims had been successfully investing for several years. Shareholders are advised to be very wary of any unsolicited advice, offers to buy shares at a discount or offers of free company reports. If you receive any unsolicited investment advice:
- Make sure you get the correct name of the person and organisation
- Check that they are properly authorised by the FSA before getting involved by visiting the FSA Register and contacting the firm using the details on the register. You can also visit the FSA List of Unauthorised Firms/Individuals to check if they appear on the list of names of some firms and/or individuals who are not approved or authorised by the FSA to conduct regulated activities (although please note that this is not an exhaustive list).
- Report the matter to the FSA either by calling 0845 606 1234 or visiting FSA Consumer Information.
- If the calls persist, hang up.
If you deal with an unauthorised firm, you will not be eligible to receive payment under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. The FSA can be contacted by completing an FSA Online Form.
Details of any share dealing facilities that the company endorses will be included in company mailings.
More detailed information on this or similar activity can be found at FSA Consumer Information.