£197m a year: the growing cost of investment scams | The Independent
(Source: independent.co.uk)

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(Original link: independent.co.uk)

Britons lost almost £200m to scammers in 2018 alone, the UK’s financial regulator has warned, amid concerns consumers still don’t believe it could ever happen to them.The average loss to fraudsters was £29,000, as they use increasingly complex and convincing techniques – including sophisticated use of social media including Facebook and Instagram, as well as emails – the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warned this week.“The latest figures from the FCA suggest that investment scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated, as many of the companies set up by scammers can look very legitimate with professional-looking websites and convincing emails,” said Andrew Johnson, advice manager at the Single Financial Guidance Body.For exclusive articles, events and an advertising-free read for just £5.99 €6.99 $9.99 a monthWith an Independent Minds subscription for just £5.99 €6.99 $9.99 a monthWithout the ads – for just £5.99 €6.99 $9.99 a monthAs peak investment scam season approaches at the end of the tax year, the FCA , working with Action Fraud , revealed the most common deception reported to the authorities involve shares and bonds, Forex (foreign exchange market) and cryptocurrencies.“For many people, telling the difference between a potential scam and a genuine regulated investment can be really difficult. The power of technology has led to more sophisticated techniques, meaning that even astute investors could find themselves a victim,” said Jane Goodland, corporate affairs director at financial services company Quilter. ‘Truly shocking’ At £29,000, the average loss to fraudsters is almost five times the annual amount saved into a typical Isa. The total lost over the year was the equivalent of 70p for every £100 currently held in stocks and shares Isas....