Too good to be true? It probably is!

The dodgy investment fraud


What to look out for: brochures through the post and cold calls from “investment brokers” you don’t know offering big money deals

Fraudsters pressure would-be victims with calls to their home urging them to hand over thousands of pounds in return for “buy now or lose out” investments in diamonds, rare earth metals, storage, wine or even carbon credits. But the commodities are often overpriced or non-existent.

Some people have been lured into handing over their entire pension pot after the promise of high returns. The average victim of an investment scam loses £20,000.


Criminals use persuasive, hard-sell tactics, that often include using impressive job titles, Technical jargon and creating a sense of urgency.
Criminals will often advise victims to keep the investment a secret.  Beware of companies that give only po box addresses and mobile contact numbers.


Brian, aged 66, Leicestershire. Former civil servant.

He was called by a persuasive man claiming to be a broker for a Japanese company selling shares. Brian was sceptical at first but a slick, professional looking website with a Japanese contact number convinced him to invest around £350,000. When Brian’s family became aware they contacted the police who could prove the man had operated other websites offering fraudulent investment deals, confirming suspicions that Brian had become this criminal’s latest victim.

Know Fraud leaflet (2MB PDF)

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