The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a warning to investors recommending increased vigilance against investment scams. Data compiled by Action Fraud has shown that scams reported in 2018 have reached more than £197 million (approximately $255.4 million) in losses, and the British regulatory body notes that the high numbers could be related to the fact that “fraudsters employed increasingly sophisticated tactics to persuade victims to invest.”
Cryptocurrency scams were listed among the most commonly reported in the past year, among swindles related to forex, shares and bonds. In contrast to the previous years, the FCA noted that fraudsters seemed to be “moving away from the traditional cold call” in favour of online channels, including Facebook and Instagram. According to the report, 54 per cent of the victims who have checked the FCA Warning List in 2018 came into contact with scammers using online sources, in comparison to 45 per cent the year before.
“These statistics show that investment fraud is a major threat, with fraudsters doing everything they can to manipulate potential victims into making investments,” said Pauline Smith, Director of Action Fraud. “Victims are often coerced or persuaded into parting with significant amounts of money and this can have a devastating impact on their wellbeing and finances,” she added.