Scams are exploiting people who are struggling with the cost of living, banks have warned. Young professionals are especially vulnerable as they are the most active on social media.
Scammers are approaching people on social media with offers of investments that are said to bring quick, high returns. Always a red flag. Fraud prevention service Cifas said that fraudsters quickly directed victims off these platforms to private emails or accounts. Their details and money were then stolen. Concerns over preserving finances are potentially leading people to make more rash decisions with their money in the hopes of quick returns.
Here at Insolvency and Law, we are always stressing the importance of spotting red flags and doing your due diligence. Not doing so, could lead you to be even further out of pocket. Increasing the stress you were trying to avoid in the first place!
A survey conducted by UK finance provided a starling and frankly concerning statistic. The survey gathered that more than a third (34%) of 18 to 34-year-olds said they would respond to an unprompted approach offering an investment opportunity or a loan, with 30% saying they might also provide their personal or financial details to seal the deal!
Victims of All Ages
Sadly, the cost of living crisis has provided opportunities for criminals. Victims aged under 45 now account for 70% of reported investment scams, according to new data from Lloyds Bank. They reported that many younger investors said they were lured by fake ads on social media promoting cryptocurrencies – which has become popular over recent years amongst younger generations especially.
Liz Ziegler, Retail Fraud & Financial Crime Director, Lloyds Bank, said: “Investing can be a great way to make money, but many deals are simply too good to be true. It takes hard work and lots of research to find the right investment for your circumstances.
While older investors remain at high risk – and often stand to suffer much heavier losses – there’s now a new generation of younger, more inexperienced investors on the scene for scammers to target. Predictably, our analysis suggests that social media platforms are the main breeding ground for these types of scams. With a mix of bogus ads, fake endorsements and cloned accounts key to fraudsters’ methods.”
Tips to avoid investment scams:
- Good deals won’t find you- If someone is reaching out to you via social media, that is most likely a scam. A genuine investment opportunity won’t use unprofessional methods of recruiting investors.
- Due Diligence– At the very least, check the FCA website to see if a company is regulated or not. Also check companies house to see director information and whether the company is actually based in the UK.
- Protect your method of payment. If you are going to take a risk- at least don’t do it via bank transfer. It is notoriously difficult to get your money back. Pay by card for the greatest protection.
If you are the victim of an investment scam, or think you are about to be: call us now on 0207 504 1300 for a free consultation with one of our advisors.
This message serves as a warning against potential online scams, including website scams and investment scams. Please exercise caution and conduct thorough research before engaging in any online transactions or investments. Protect your personal and financial information from fraudulent activities, and consult with trusted sources for advice.
Insolvency and Law Peter Murray is an award-winning consultancy firm specialising in Insolvency, debt purchasing and business rescue.