Long-term investment scam
Fraudsters know that you’re more likely to invest with someone who has experience and knowledge. That’s why they pretend to be genuine companies or advisers.
To win your trust, they’ll treat you like a client, taking time to explain an investment. If you believe they’re a real company or adviser, you’re more likely to give them your money.
Fraudsters pretend to be genuine companies or advisers
It’s easy for a fraudster to pretend to be from a genuine company, or to use the name of a real adviser. They can come across as professional, and may even have paperwork and technology, such as an investment app. Make sure it’s not a scam by checking the register of genuine companies and advisers on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) website.
Fraudsters copy genuine websites
Always use the FCA website to check phone numbers and site addresses. Contact a company or adviser to make sure they’re real. Fraudsters can send you a link on social media or email that goes to a fake site. This helps them to convince you they’re somebody genuine.
How do they want you to pay?
Fraudsters can open accounts on genuine apps and sites and ask you to send money that way. But they normally want a bank transfer. This sends money directly to their account and is very hard for you to get back. Fraudsters will encourage you to invest and often use complicated terms to sound like experts. They may stop all contact if you ask too many questions. Take your time to make sure a deal is genuine and worthwhile.
Have you done any research or got advice?
Even a genuine investment comes with some risk. Always research a deal before making up your mind. Talk with family and friends. Ask an independent financial adviser. And use the FCA website to check it’s safe and not on their scam warning list.
Did you expect an offer to invest?
Fraudsters often use stolen contact details to offer investments over the phone, by text or email. They also advertise deals online, hoping you reply with personal or financial details to get more information. If a fraudster has your details, it can help them to make a scam seem more believable.
Common investment scams offer things such as precious gems like diamonds, or metals like gold, wine, land abroad, energy and cryptocurrencies, for example Bitcoin.