Collective action and UK wine investment fraud

Karina Mari Olsen Einarsen (Accounting and Financial Management, Portsmouth Business School, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK)
Lisa Jack (Accounting and Financial Management, Portsmouth Business School, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK)

Qualitative Research in Financial Markets

ISSN: 1755-4179

Publication date: 8 July 2019



The purpose of this paper is to examine the measures taken by legitimate wine investment companies and enforcement agencies to counter alternative investment scams.


The authors interviewed wine industry and law enforcement specialists to understand the nature of wine investment fraud and the characteristics of the victims. They also drew on secondary data in the form of government agency research and media sources.


The majority of wine investment frauds are boiler room operations, using social engineering techniques to draw victims into the fraud. The authors conclude that countering wine investment fraud requires public education by government, the wine industry and the police.

Research limitations/implications

This is a small-scale study that uses interviews with experts in the industry and in law enforcement and secondary data as evidence. Despite the limitations in the number of interviews, the authors are able to comment on the social impacts of alternative investment scams and suggest a theoretical basis for future work in the field.

Practical implications

The authors make a case for regulators and investors to be part of collective action through education and public awareness campaigns to combat alternative investment fraud.


The authors outline how collective action theory might be extended to investigate fraud prevention measures in other financial and commodity markets.



The authors would like to acknowledge the support of David Richardson and the Wine and Spirits Trade Association for providing a bursary to cover the travel costs involved in this project.


Einarsen, K.M.O. and Jack, L. (2019), "Collective action and UK wine investment fraud", Qualitative Research in Financial Markets, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 118-136.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below

You may be able to access this content by logging in via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.
If you think you should have access to this content, click the button to contact our support team.