“It won’t happen to me” – think again
It’s so easy to watch the ads on TV about scams or see the consumer shows interviewing devastated people about their financial losses as victims of fraud, and think “it won’t happen to me,” but think again! In the year to September 2020, Action Fraud received over 17,000 reports of investment fraud, totalling £657.4m in losses.
Fuelled by the pandemic, with scammers preying on a population beleaguered by job losses and reduced incomes, this figure represents a 28% increase on the same period in 2018-2019. Head of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith commented, “Preying on people when they are at their most vulnerable really shows how low these criminals will stoop to make a profit for themselves.”
Action Fraud have warned, ‘Just because a company has a glossy website and glowing reviews from alleged high net worth investors, it does not mean it is genuine. Fraudsters will go to great lengths to convince you they are not a scam.’
Action Fraud have urged consumers to seek regulated advice on investment opportunities. It could happen to you. If you have been approached by phone, email, social media or face-to-face, it really does pay to be suspicious, trust your instinct and:
- Seek professional advice before making a significant financial decision
- Use the Financial Conduct Authority’s register to check if a company is regulated
- Remember that, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
For more information about investment fraud, visit www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart
The value of investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. The past is not a guide to future performance and past performance may not necessarily be repeated.