Over £27m lost to FX and crypto scams

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Action Fraud have warned the public to be wary of investment scams carried out via bogus online trading platforms.

This comes as crypto assets and foreign exchange (forex) investment scams reports more than tripled last year to over 1,800. Fraudsters promise high returns from investments in crypto and forex, with victims losing over £27 million in total in 2018/19.

The regulator stated that fraudsters often use social media to promote ‘get rich quick’ online trading platforms. Posts often use fake celebrity endorsements and images of luxury items like expensive watches and cars, which then link to professional-looking websites where consumers are persuaded to invest.

Action Fraud reports showed that on average, victims were each scammed out of £14,600 from forex and crypto scams in 2018/19.

As part of the FCA’s ScamSmart campaign, it will be running advertising on social media to raise awareness of online trading scams. Supported by the City of London Police, the campaign encourages those considering an investment to check its dedicated website for tips on how to avoid investment fraud.

Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: “Scammers can be very convincing so always do your own research into any firm you are considering investing with, to make sure that they are the real deal.

“Before investing online find out how to protect yourself from scams by visiting the ScamSmart website, and if in any doubt – don’t invest.”

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