Taking the fight to online Investment Scams
Friday, August 14th, 2020
In a news story published today, the National Cyber Security Centre stated that over the past 4 months, it had removed over 300,000 URLs linking to investment scams with fake celebrity endorsements.
We can help in this work. If you receive or see such a case, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you receive an obvious case via e-mail, it should be as simple as forwarding it to this address. As with many other forms of criminality, your report may help beyond the specific instance, as many are linked to organised crime.
Those who do fall victim to online fraud should contact their bank immediately and report it as a crime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 (for England, Wales and Northern Ireland). If you are based in Scotland, you can report to Police Scotland by calling 101.
We have seen an influx of emails promoting fake celebrity-endorsed investment opportunities.
— NCSC UK (@NCSC) August 14, 2020
Case study – Cryptocurrency trading firm falsely claiming Martin Lewis endorsement
Anyone who has watched Martin Lewis talk on the subject, will know his passion and outrage at being falsely connected to products or services.
Just one example featured a scam online cryptocurrency trading company. GPay Ltd, which traded as XtraderFX and formerly as Cryptopoint, targeted people in the UK and abroad, advertising its services online and via social media channels. Customers were encouraged to use its trading platform through advertisements that falsely claimed the service was supported or endorsed by Martin and other entrepreneurs.
The firm was wound up on 23 June 2020. Following complaints, investigators found that at least 108 people claimed they had lost just under £1.5 million in total while using the company’s online trading platform. In some cases, the firm’s customers lost money despite paying insurance which was meant to retrospectively cover their losses.
Case study – Investment scams on Instagram
Another recent case, published by Action Fraud, involves losses on investment scams reported by Instagram users.
In these cases, fraudsters approach victims via Instagram’s instant messaging feature of the platform, or are approached after advertising their service. An initial investment of a few hundred pounds is to be traded on the stock market or to buy and trade foreign currency until they have multiplied the investment several times within a matter of days. Proceeds would be paid to the victim after deduction of a small commission. Victims are usually requested to send the money by bank transfer or through a cryptocurrency platform which means it is nearly impossible to retrieve.
In reality, once the initial investment has been transferred the victim is given a series of excuses as to why their money and ‘profits’ cannot be returned unless more money is sent. Eventually all contact is severed and the victim is blocked by the suspect.
Read in the cold light of day, this is a case of obviously ‘too good to be true’. It targets a younger demographic, typically aged between 20 and 30, with less savings or those who are financially vulnerable and are searching for a quick and easy way to make money.
Other Recent Posts
Friday, August 7th, 2020
WHY it is important to report crime and concerns: we can do more to help focus Policing support and attention on our own locality, and even help in the fight against broader crime. Read More...
Monday, June 14th, 2021
A guide to Nitrous Oxide abuse, published by Buckinghamshire Council Community Safety team in its latest Community Safety Newsletter. Read More...
Monday, June 14th, 2021
We welcome Chief Inspector Rachel Patterson in her new role as Deputy Commander, Chiltern & South Buckinghamshire Local Policing Area (LPA) Read More...
Monday, June 7th, 2021
Packed edition of Buckinghamshire Community Safety newsletter. Anti-social behaviour, Scams, Nitrous Oxide, Neighbourhood Watch and much more! Read More...
Friday, May 28th, 2021
Rental e-scooters are being trialled in nearby towns, so why are privately-owned scooters on allowed on the roads? Guidance on the rules around e-Scooters Read More...
Saturday, May 22nd, 2021
Advice on preventing catalytic converter theft, and a video showing removal of a catalytic conveter in less than a minute. Read More...
Friday, April 30th, 2021
Following many media and social media reports of dog thefts, we publish advice on keeping your pets safe from theft. Read More...