Don’t make a ‘pour’ investment decision this Dry January

17 Jan 2019 03:43 PM

Action Fraud warns the public as fraudulent wine investments go sour.

People who wanted to sell their wine investment and fell victim to wine investment fraud between four and six years ago are being cold called by fraudsters who claim they can resell the wine for an insurance or shipping fee. The fraudsters appear reliable and legitimate, attracting the victim’s attention with their knowledge of their personal details such as their name, address, bank account and the wine company name they previously invested with. 

Fraudsters are taking advantage of liquidated wine investment companies, or company directors who have been arrested and publicised on forums and websites. Victims of this fraud have paid an average of £2,000 into an escrow account via bank transfer, in various instalments to different payee names over a period of one to four months. No victims have recovered their initial wine investment payment, and are at a further loss after paying an advance recovery fee.    

Over the past six months, Action Fraud has seen an increase in this type of fraud, which is known as recovery fraud. Victims are both male and female aged 46 to 86 years old. 

Research shows that criminals have exhausted the use of traditional high street banks and are setting up accounts with financial technology companies for victims to pay into. 

Director of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith, yesterday said:

“The fact that fraudsters are taking advantage of previous victims of fraud is despicable. 

“If you’re contacted by an individual who knows a lot about the money you lost, but they want a fee first, it is vital that you stop all correspondence immediately. 

“If you think you have been a victim of fraud, report it to us and your bank immediately.”

How can I protect myself?