Over £27 million reported lost to crypto and forex investment scams
New warning from The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Action Fraud.
- Over £27million lost to scams involving crypto and forex investments in 2018/19
- Victims lost on average over £14,600 last financial year
- Reports tripled to over 1,800 from the year before
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Action Fraud are warning the public to be wary of investment scams carried out via bogus online trading platforms. This warning comes as cryptoassests1 (crypto) and forex investment scams reports more than tripled last year to over 1,800. Fraudsters promise high returns from investments in crypto and forex, with victims losing over £27 million in total in 2018/19.
How do the scams work?
Fraudsters often use social media to promote their ‘get rich quick’ online trading platforms. Posts often use fake celebrity endorsements and images of luxury items like expensive watches and cars. These then link to professional-looking websites where consumers are persuaded to invest.
Investors will often be led to believe that their first investment has successfully made a profit. The fraudster will then contact the victim to invest more money or introduce friends and family with the false promise of greater profits. However, eventually the returns stop, the customer account is closed and the scammer disappears with no further contact.
Action Fraud reports show that on average, victims were each scammed out of £14,600 from forex and crypto scams in 2018/19.
As part of the FCA’s ScamSmart campaign the FCA will be running advertising to raise awareness of online trading scams. Running on social media, the ScamSmart adverts aim to make consumers more sceptical of ‘get rich quick’ trading scams promoted online.
Supported by the City of London Police, the FCA’s ScamSmart campaign encourages those considering an investment to check its dedicated website for tips on how to avoid investment fraud, www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart.
Director of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith, yesterday said:
“These figures are startling and provide a stark warning that people need to be wary of fake investments on online trading platforms. It’s vital that people carry out the necessary checks to ensure that an investment they’re considering is legitimate.”
“Action Fraud is pleased to be partnering with the FCA to raise awareness of online trading scams, and we hope it will help prevent more people falling victim. Remember, if you think you have been a victim, contact Action Fraud”
Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, FCA, yesterday said:
“We’re warning the public to be suspicious of adverts which promise high returns from online trading platforms.”
“Scammers can be very convincing so always do your own research into any firm you are considering investing with, to make sure that they are the real deal. Before investing online find out how to protect yourself from scams by visiting the ScamSmart website, and if in any doubt – don’t invest.”
Stay safe when scrolling:
- Don’t assume it’s real – professional-looking websites, adverts or social media posts don’t always mean that an investment opportunity is genuine. Criminals can use the names of well-known brands or individuals to make their scams appear legitimate.
- Stay in control – avoid uninvited investment offers whether made on social media or over the phone. If you’re thinking about making an investment, thoroughly research the company first and consider getting independent advice.
- Make the right checks – Firms providing regulated financial services must be authorised by the FCA. You can check whether they are authorised on the FCA’s Register. Use the contact details on the Register, not the details the firm gives you, to avoid ‘clones’.
Every report matters – If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, report it to Action Fraud.
ActionFraud is the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre.
We provide a central point of contact for information about fraud and cyber crime.
The easiest way to report fraud and cyber crime is by using our online reporting tool.Report
Latest News from
Mother and daughter share their experiences of ticket fraud to warn others17/06/2019 13:43:00
A mother and daughter have shared their experiences of falling victim to ticket scammers in the hope that others think twice before buying tickets from unauthorised platforms.
Make sure you mullet over before you fall victim to phishing emails on National Fish and Chip Day07/06/2019 16:20:00
The national Cyber PROTECT Network, led by the City of London Police and in partnership with Action Fraud, is warning people to lookout for phishing messages on National Fish and Chip Day.
Controls prevent phone fraudsters spoofing HMRC04/06/2019 10:20:00
The tax authority has put an end to fraudster’s mimicking its most recognisable helpline numbers to dupe taxpayers and steal money.
Action Fraud warns of Hajj fraud, as criminals target Muslims booking trips to Mecca16/05/2019 12:20:00
New Hajj fraud warning from Action Fraud and City of London Police.
Fraudsters are continuing to send victims their own passwords in sextortion scam15/05/2019 17:02:00
A sextortion phishing scam, first identified by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) in July 2018, continues to be reported to Action Fraud in high numbers.
NCSC advice following WhatsApp vulnerability15/05/2019 13:20:00
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has issued advice for users of WhatsApp following yesterday's vulnerability announcement.
Gang of fraudsters jailed for 43 years by the Metropolitan Police after reports to Action Fraud10/05/2019 10:20:00
A gang of fraudsters have been jailed for a total of more than 43 years for their parts in the theft of millions of pounds from businesses and individuals in the UK and abroad.
Action Fraud report reveals £7 million lost to holiday fraud08/05/2019 10:20:00
Fraudsters stole more than £7 million from unsuspecting holidaymakers and other travellers in 2018, a new report yesterday revealed.