Tax: Personal finance expert provides advice on investments
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Take Five is a national campaign to raise public awareness over financial fraud. It has received public support from well-known names such as Nationwide and Santandar. On Twitter, Nationwide issued a caution to customers over the looming threat and tactics of investment scams in the crypto market. The Society said: “Cryptocurrencies don’t have the same safeguards to protect your money. Tricked by a crypto scam? It’s unlikely you’ll recover your cash. “Do your research on investments. Stop and challenge investment deals – especially on social media.”
Investment scams are when fraudsters convince people to deposit their money into a fictitious fund or to pay for what later turns out to be a fake investment.
This can come in the form of cold calls or fake investment opportunities promoted online and social media.
In many customers, victims of fraud will be asked to leave their personal details in order for a call back to be arranged.
It is vital Britons are aware of the lengths scammers will go to convince the public to part with their money. Fake celebrity endorsements and testimonials are common in order to elicit an emotional response.
Cloned websites posing as investment firms are also common tactics in tricking victims of fraud in order to put forward an image of credibility.
On top of this, those taken in by an investment scam may also receive an initial payment or even a couple of payments with “returns” on their investment to convince them to invest a larger amount of money.
Fraudsters spend hours each day researching and analysing their marks before carrying out a scam. They may provide their victims with details of previous investments and shares they hold.
An example of a common scam tactic is being offered an opportunity to invest in existing markets, such as property, gold or Bitcoin.
Best ways to spot an investment scam
Thanks to Take Five, Nationwide customers and the wider public have access to a range of support and guidance on how to avoid investment scams.
According to the scam avoidance campaign, here are the best ways to spot an investment scam:
- Seeing advertisements in social media, sometimes celebrity endorsed, which promote high returns on investments
- Being contacted randomly by phone, email or social media about an investment opportunity
- Getting offered a high return on your investment with apparently no risk involved
- Being told the investment opportunity is exclusive to you
- Being pressured into making a decision on an investment with little time to decide properly
Specifically, Take Five is warning the public to be wary of any investment opportunities in the cryptocurrency market.
The campaign said: “Check the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) register for regulated firms, individuals and bodies.
“Most cryptocurrencies aren’t regulated by the FCA which means they’re not protected by the UK’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
“It’s important that you do your research and proceed with extreme caution before making any investments.
“You can check if an investment or pension opportunity you’ve been offered could potentially be a scam by taking the FCA’s ScamSmart test.”
Anyone considering that they’ve been targeted by an investment scam online should visit the Advertising Standard Authority’s website.
To fill out a complaint, a quick reporting form will need to be completed which will then be passed on to the authority who will take action if deemed necessary.
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