Types of Schemes

If it seems too good to be true. It probably is…TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.

Time and time again we see classic examples of schemes duping unsuspecting individuals into handing over their hard-earned savings, inheritances, and pension funds.

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What you need to know about unregulated ventures that could catch you out

Ponzi Schemes:

Ponzi schemes, which are named after Charles Ponzi, have become common since the early 20th century. These fraudulent activities involve little or no legitimate business activity and rely on funds from new individuals to pay the dividends of earlier buyers, creating the guise of a successful business. As a result, many have fallen victim to this type of scam.

Pyramid Schemes:

Unlike Ponzi schemes, which use funds from new buyers to pay the dividends of earlier buyers, pyramid schemes operate on a different principle. They rely on a never-ending stream of participants to recruit new members into the scheme. Promising high returns to lure them in.

As a result, the scheme creates a hierarchical structure in which members at the top of the pyramid receive the most profits. While those at the bottom are left with nothing. Since there is no legitimate business activity generating profits, the scheme is unsustainable and will eventually collapse. Resulting in significant losses for many.

Overseas property ventures:

Sales agents often resort to deceptive tactics to attract people. They might reach out to potential victims unexpectedly, and present shiny brochures and websites to sell them land or property that they have never seen. Moreover, they may falsely claim that they do not need regulation since they are not a collective investment scheme (CIS).

However, you should be aware that if they have no control over managing their plot and the scheme pools funds, an operator is responsible for managing the business, and it is indeed a CIS. As a result, it should be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Early Pension Release:

When it comes to early pension release, the stakes are high and you should be extra cautious. These companies may try to mask their fraudulent activities by labeling them as a ‘pension liberation’ or ‘pension loan’.

However, you should be aware that taking money from their pension before you turn 55 is generally not a good idea. Despite the potential for enticing offers, it is important to exercise caution.


Cryptocurrency is a digital currency used to purchase goods and services online, without relying on traditional banks for transactions. Instead, cryptography verifies these transactions. However, be wary of companies who use email to offer ‘irresistible' opportunities. These criminals take advantage of victims by taking their money and then disappearing without a trace.

To avoid falling for these, it is essential to exercise caution when it comes to social media advertisements for cryptocurrency. Additionally, it is crucial to AVOID all cold calls. It is common for these opportunities to start with a cold call, so you should be especially cautious if you receive one.

Unregulated products:

Unregulated products such as gold, diamonds, wine, hotels, whiskey, parking, and storage, to name a few, are often the target of unsavory activity. You are often contacted out of the blue. Usually via email, post, or in person at a seminar/exhibition. Unfortunately, there will usually be pressure to part with money quickly for returns that are unusually high.

These schemes are often based outside of the UK, but claim to have a UK base. Plus a prestigious London address, which adds to their perceived legitimacy.


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