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
When someone pretends to be the police, a bank, a friend or business, to convince you to send them money.
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.
When account details on an invoice are changed, or emails are intercepted, so the money is wrongly paid into the scammer’s account.
When someone pretends to be interested in a romantic relationship with you. They gain your trust and then ask for money.
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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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.
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