Fraud costing investors thousands, say police
The City of London police is warning of a new investment scam costing the average victim nearly £26,000.
According to the report, the fraud involves “binary options trading” – where individuals can bet on share price or currency movements.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warned that these scams, despite being advertised as legitimate, are not regulated and anyone who invests risks losing capital.
The police said nearly 700 victims lost a total of £18 million in just the first six months of 2017.
Earlier this month, Trading Standards and the police visited 20 addresses in the City of London to investigate suspected binary options trading firms.
Chief superintendent Glenn Maleary, head of the Economic Crime Directorate at the City of London Police, said: “This multi-agency operation allowed us to speak with multiple businesses and gather significant intelligence around various investments currently being traded in the City.
“With our partners, we want to ensure the City is a hostile environment for fraudsters to operate in and we will continue to do everything we can to ensure that this is the case.”
The police added that the schemes are often advertised to everyday individuals through various social media sites, while celebrity images – such as those of Richard Branson and money saver Martin Lewis – are being used to market the schemes without their permission.