The Financial Conduct Authority is warning the public to be wary of investment scams carried out via bogus online trading platforms, after recording over £27 million lost to fraudsters offering unfeasably high returns on crypto and forex investments.
The warning comes as cryptoassests and forex investment scams reports more than tripled last year to over 1,800, with the average loss per victim standing at £14,600.
The FCA says fraudsters often use social media to promote their ‘get rich quick’ online trading platforms. Posts often use fake celebrity endorsements and images of luxury items like expensive watches and cars. These then link to professional-looking websites where consumers are persuaded to invest.
The FCA, in tandem with the City of London Police and Action fraud to run and advertising campaign to raise awareness of online trading scams. Running on social media, the ScamSmart adverts aim to make consumers more sceptical of ‘get rich quick’ trading scams promoted online.
Director of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith, says: “These figures are startling and provide a stark warning that people need to be wary of fake investments on online trading platforms. It’s vital that people carry out the necessary checks to ensure that an investment they’re considering is legitimate.”