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.
We have become aware that a number of shareholders have been approached by third parties, claiming to act on behalf of Rio Tinto, offering to exchange the shareholder’s Rio Tinto shares for the shares or securities of another company. Please be advised that this is a scam and Rio Tinto has not and would not instruct any third party to make such an offer to our shareholders or to act on our behalf in this way.