Long-term investment scam
If a fraudster wins your trust, they can set you up with a scam that takes your money over a long period of time.
You may believe you’re a client of a genuine company or adviser. But it’s all one big lie to steal your money.
Fraudsters pretend to be genuine companies or advisers
For this type of scam to work, fraudsters pretend to be someone trustworthy, like an existing company or adviser. They copy genuine names and paperwork and try to appear like experts. Sometimes, they use apps and other technology so you can follow your fake investment. Before you invest, check the register of genuine companies and advisers on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) website.
Fraudsters copy genuine websites
To invest safely, you need to use genuine contact details to make sure you’re in touch with a real company or adviser. Fraudsters send links by email or on social media to take you to fake sites with phony contact details. Get genuine phone numbers and website addresses on the FCA site.
How do they want you to pay?
Be suspicious if you need to pay by bank transfer. It’s like giving a fraudster cash and usually you won’t get your money back. Another trick is to ask you to pay an account on a genuine site or app that they control or can access. Fraudsters are often keen to get your money, but they can struggle to explain how an investment works in simple terms. Ask lots of questions. If you make it difficult for a fraudster, they may give up.
Have you done any research or got advice?
Before you invest, always do lots of research. Tell your family and friends about a deal to find out what they think. Talk with an independent financial adviser and check the scam warning list on the FCA site.
Did you expect an offer to invest?
If you get a phone call, email or text about an investment, it may be a fraudster. They can get in touch using stolen contact details. Or they post adverts online about a deal and you enter personal and financial details to find out more. The more a fraudster knows about you, the more chance they have to convince you it’s genuine.
Common investment scams offer things such as precious gems like diamonds, or metals like gold, wine, land abroad, energy and cryptocurrencies, for example Bitcoin.