Spike in online investment fraud reports

Updated: Jan 25, 2021

The police’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre, Action Fraud, has received an increased number of reports relating to investment since the last lockdown. With the nation urged to stay at home once more, the organisation is urging all to be aware of online scams.

Between September 2019 and September 2020, Action Fraud received just over 17,000 reports of investment fraud, amounting to £657.4m in reported losses.

These are cases in which criminals have taken advantage of the pandemic’s impact regarding redundancy, pay cuts and furlough with cold calls, emails or social media messages that offer false investment opportunities.

Action Fraud recommend the following:

- Be wary of out-of-the-blue investment offers

- Don’t be rushed into making an investment. No legitimate organisation will pressure you into making a transaction or committing to something on the spot.

- Use a financial advisor accredited by the Financial Conduct Authority. Paying for professional advice may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it will help prevent you from being scammed.

Action Fraud’s website makes it easy to report anything suspicious: www.actionfraud.police.uk. Doing so will help others avoid being conned.

We must all play a part in making one another aware of the signs of a scam. Stay alert to cyber crime and help to protect your personal and business finances.

For more guidance on staying safe online, please see our resources page.