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Investment scams

When you’re invited to invest in things that are worthless, or don’t exist.

How it could happen to you

  • You see adverts for ‘get rich quick’ schemes on social media, which are sometimes shared by ‘celebrities’ (fake endorsements) or people you know
  • Everyone’s  talking about cryptocurrency at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you should listen to just anyone offering to invest your money in Bitcoin or another digital currency – especially if they’re offering to open a currency wallet for you that you wouldn’t have access to
  • You’re looking to buy a bond or shares, or researching what to do with your pension money, so you search online. You’re then contacted by someone offering a good deal – often tailored for you – and they have documents that look genuine. You might be asked to pay an up-front fee to secure the investment. Scammers can create documents, websites and online platforms that look real. They’ll do this to make you believe you’re dealing with a genuine company
  • You think you’re dealing with a genuine and well-known company, but it’s really a scammer posing as them

Stop. Challenge. Protect.

  • Check the FCA website for regulated firms and individuals. If they’re genuine, the FCA will show registered contact details that you can use to make sure you’re dealing with the genuine company
  • Also check the FCA Warning List for cloned companies, or firms known to be operating without FCA authorisation
  • Speak to a trusted friend or family member and consider consulting a qualified financial adviser
  • Don’t be lured in by adverts you see online or on social media — these can be fake. Carry out your own research and read reviews of the investment and the company
  • If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is

Impersonation scams

When someone pretends to be the police, a bank, a friend or business, to convince you to send them money.

Purchase scams

When fake or non-existent items are advertised for sale.

Advance fee scams

When fake companies ask for an upfront fee and then don’t provide the service you’ve paid for.

Invoice scams

When account details on an invoice are changed, or emails are intercepted, so the money is wrongly paid into the scammer’s account.

Romance scams

When someone pretends to be interested in a romantic relationship with you. They gain your trust and then ask for money.

Money mules

When you let someone put money into your account, which you then transfer on. You may be told you can keep some of the money for yourself. 

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How to report fraud

Think you’ve been a victim?

Get in touch with us right away if you think you’ve seen suspicious activity on your account. Here you’ll find the numbers you need, the next steps to take and what we’ll do to help. 

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Take control of your personal data

Stay safe online

Discover ways to help keep control over your personal data online.

Digitally safe quiz

How digitally safe are you?

Would you recognise a fake caller, spot a phishing email or know when a fraudster is trying to take control of your computer? Take our interactive challenge to find out.

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Take Five to stop fraud

National awareness campaign

Take Five is led by UK Finance and backed by the Government and other organisations. If you receive a phone call, text or email you think might be fake, it urges you to stop – take five – and challenge what you’re told.

Master your Moneyverse

…and make money work for you

We’ve all got our own personal relationship with money – the way we spend it, save it, (try to) look after it and use it to help reach our goals and shape our dreams. This is your Moneyverse. It’s as unique as you are and we can help you become its master.