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Investment Fraudsters Dupe Victims Out Of Thousands Of Pounds

Investment Fraudsters Dupe Victims Out Of Thousands Of Pounds

This is Money recently reported on the rise of investment fraud.

According to the fraud reporting service Action Fraud, clone scammers peddling fake investment products stole close to £213,700 a day from Britons in 2020, with victims losing £45,242 on average.

Two readers in question were scammed via duped versions of legitimate Investment firms, into transferring large sums of money into ‘fake’ broker accounts.

An example of how such scam took place is as follows:

  1. Victim receives an email from an impersonator at Aviva (for example) outlining investment opportunities.
  2. Victim contacts who they think is Aviva to arrange for funds to be transferred to begin this new investment opportunity. (Which is not a legitimate investment)
  3. The Aviva impersonator advises the victim to transfer the funds to a third party ‘Broker’
  4. Victim transfers these sums via their bank and into the hands of the fraudsters – for the ‘fake’ investment opportunity. Therefore resulting in large financial losses.

These scams are controlled by highly skilled criminals who make every effort to replicate legitimate companies in order to trick the victim into monetary transfers.

What the victims are questioning via their Bank is:

  • Why aren’t the victim’s banks noticing these transactions taking place and questioning them?
  • Why did they let them (the victim) transfer large sums of money to a business which does not match with the intended investment firm?
  • Why weren’t the necessary checks undertaken to protect them?

A quote from NatWest states ‘Criminals are using increasing sophisticated techniques to scam customers. When making an investment we would recommend reviewing the Financial Conduct Authority Scam Smart site and contacting the investment provider on an independently found number.’

The number of FCA warnings about investment scam firms doubled from 573 in 2019 to 1,184 last year, Which? said, while the consumer group added that many adverts and websites stayed online weeks after the FCA had published details on its blacklist. Mark Taber, a consumer campaigner who reports scam adverts to the regulator, said he had reported 130 so far this year. He said he believed the number of warnings was higher than in 2020 but that the FCA had ‘become more proactive in identifying online adverts itself’, reducing his workload slightly.

Not so long ago we discussed the FCA’s urge to increase marketing strategies across platforms such as Google to prevent dishonest business practice, in order to crackdown on misleading ads.

The enforcement would reduce the number of scams from having the ‘opportunity’ to target victims for financial gain and will prevent mis leading advice for victims to transfer from the pensions for example into high risk investments; which are either non existent or which subsequently fail.

 

If you have been a victim of a mis sold investment or pension, please contact a member of our team today.

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