Investment fraud: Con-artists scam 700 people out of £10.4m in West Midlands over past year - The Coventry Observer

14th Aug, 2022

Investment fraud: Con-artists scam 700 people out of £10.4m in West Midlands over past year

Editorial Correspondent 16th Nov, 2020 Updated: 16th Nov, 2020

MORE than 700 people across the West Midlands have been conned out of £10 million in the last 12 months as investment fraud cases soar.

West Midlands Police has issued a fresh warning urging people to be on their guard.

Kloe Burrows, of West Midlands Police’s economic crime unit, said: “Unfortunately, we’ve seen a rise in scammers taking advantage of people across the West Midlands.

“There has been a huge amount of money lost to con-artists through investment fraud during the last 12 months, particularly as the year has gone on.

“Never feel pressured into making a quick decision without being given time to do your research. It’s a tell-tale sign that something is not quite right.”

A total of 728 people were scammed into making rogue investments between September 2019 and 2020 – at a huge loss of £10.4 million combined.

In June, July and August there were 241 victims – double the amount in January, February and March when there were 121 incidents.

Police say scammers usually cold call, or make contact via through social media, and offer an opportunity to invest in a product or scheme.

They will then try and persuade you to invest by claiming there are huge returns and potential profit on offer. This may be in the form of bonds or cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin.

But, after money has been exchanged they will disappear just before you are expecting to get the extra money you should make from your investment – which is ultimately worthless or non-existent.

Advice is:

• If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is

• Research what you have been offered and the investment company

• Don’t be pressured into making a quick decision

• Seek independent financial advice before committing to any investment

• To make safe investments take a look at the Financial Conduct Authority’s ScamSmart

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