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Website launches to prevent cask investment scams

Two whisky experts have launched a website that aims to protect consumers when purchasing and reselling Scotch casks.

The website aims to protect consumers from the increasing number of cask scams in the Scotch industry

Felipe Schrieberg, a Keeper of the Quaich, and Mark Littler created the site in response to growing industry concerns about the spread of misinformation, or lack of information, about returns on investment from buying and reselling casks of Scotch whisky.

As the market is unregulated and owning casks has become more popular, the pair allege that some rogue companies have been spreading incorrect information, misleading clients and, in some cases, committing fraud.

Schrieberg said: “Every few decades, there have been waves of new companies – many of them incompetent at best or perpetrating fraud at worst – promising fast and profitable returns on the purchase of Scotch whisky casks using aggressive sales tactics.

“We’re seeing more than a few such firms today using similar techniques to generate enthusiasm and sales as fraudsters from more than 20, 50, and even 100 years ago.

“We think it’s important to fight the misleading claims that have been going around to protect the integrity of the Scotch whisky industry.”

The platform is dedicated to providing clear, transparent information on safe Scotch purchasing and ownership, and also highlights guidance on Scotch whisky cask investment written by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

The duo said the site is accessible and easy to understand, and includes a ‘helpful summary of the legal framework governing the purchase and sale of Scotch whisky casks; suggests red flags to watch out for when Scotch whisky cask investment firms are pitching their services; and details stories covering historical Scotch whisky cask investment scams’.

On the importance of genuine ownership, Littler added: “Investing in whisky casks is inherently risky as it is an unregulated and volatile market.

“When it comes to cask investment, one of the fundamental issues we’ve come across is ensuring an investor actually owns their cask rather than having rights to a cask through a third party.

“This is something that the SWA itself affirms in its own advice on the matter. We hope can help others successfully navigate this precarious landscape or decide they’re better off investing in something safer.”

Industry experts have warned of rogue cask investment companies perpetrating fraud and other cask scams.

Last year, The Cask Whisky Association (CWA) also launched to establish a safe environment for whisky enthusiasts to buy and sell casks.

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