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Avoiding Investment Fraud

Tuesday, May 14th, 2024

From Thames Valley Alert and Get Safe Online

Investments are a favourite trick used by fraudsters to steal your money… either funds you’ve put aside ‘for a rainy day’ or life savings to be used for a dream holiday or your retirement.

Between 2020 and the end of 2023, nearly 100,000 people in the UK fell victim to investment scams, totalling £2.6 billion or £13 million every week (source: Pensions Management Institute). These figures refer only to reported scams, so are likely to be considerably higher.

To learn how to invest wisely and avoid being a victim in this way read the latest tips and advice from Get Safe Online.

These include:

  • Consider that if an individual or organisation contacts you randomly about an investment opportunity, it is likely to be either a scam or an investment carrying high risk.
  • Consider that in the UK, almost all financial services firms must be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which operates the Financial Services Register and Consumer Helpline.
  • Learn to spot the classic signs of an investment fraud, such as unrealistically high returns (although this is not always the case), undue pressure or limited time offers. Over-familiarity or flattery, absence of a physical address or being requested to provide remote access to your device.
  • ​​​​If you receive a cold call offering an investment, do not engage in conversation, but instead end the call by either disconnecting straight away, or after saying “No thanks, I’m not interested.”
  • If you receive an online or text communication about an investment, ignore it and if it’s an email, delete it. Do not click on any links or attachments.
  • Consider registering with the Telephone Preference Service and Mailing Preference Service to reduce the number of unsolicited calls and letters you receive.
  • Callers may pretend they are not cold calling you by referring to a brochure or an email they have already sent.
  • Ignore unsolicited offers of help in recovering money you have lost to a scam, as this will undoubtedly be another scam.

More details are available via this link: https://www.getsafeonline.org/investments/, or by downloading the following leaflet.

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