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Investment fraud

People get cold calls from sales team representatives offering opportunities in overseas or high net-worth schemes, but in most cases, such plans are worthless or do not exist. It can be shared, hedge funds, land banking, or boiler room scams. 

These hideous operations target vulnerable victims who lose their life savings into the bogus plans hoping to gain greatly inflated returns; on the contrary, the project does not exist, or they do not even get into the resale market. 

Such schemes target most elderly and inexperienced buyers. They get cold calls at home, are pressured to make early decisions, and are asked not to inform or discuss it with family and friends. They use various tactics to make the offer look genuine and trustworthy while selling worthless products.

How Does It Happen?

  • They target people over 65 – who have a lot of money in their pension accounts. They are the ones who seek opportunities to earn through their pension savings. 

  • The victim gets a professional call from a broker who pretends to be calling from a credible organisation that offers huge profits for the investment. 

  • The representatives offer deals in share or luxury alternatives like precious metals, gemstones, or wine. 

  • They offer free reports, discounts and secret tips to the buyers. 

  • They may inform the buyer about the progress made in the invested project – to get more funds. 

  • They offer new discounts to previous customers and deals that repeat "once-in-a-lifetime."

  • They have attractive addresses and offer lucrative brochures and literature. In addition, they have professional websites to send you reports and documents to make the enterprise appear legitimate. 

  • They cold-call people to get money into bogus schemes and disappear when the client seeks returns, profits or an exit.

  • They may ask the victim to keep the deal a secret to get maximum returns. It is the strategy adopted by such teams to avoid being spotted.

How To Protect Yourself?

  • Reject sudden requests described as time-bound deals located overseas.

  • Do not share personal information with a stranger. It would be best if you treated all cold calls with suspicion. 

  • Ask as many questions as you can before giving any personal details.

  • Check the scheme's legitimacy – ask for authorisations, certificates and legal documents. 

  • Do not rely on brochures or websites – as the marketing teams can create credible sites.

  • Do not trust the ratings or reviews posted by the firm.

  • If you suspect any such crime, have been conned, or have lost money, report it to the regulatory authorities.

Date Published: Sep 11, 2023

Types of fraud

A-Z of fraud

To help understand which fraud you've been affected by, we've categorised them into an alphabetical list.

What is fraud and cyber crime?

Cybercrimes can be of two types. First, it can be cyber dependent, where the fraudsters use online devices to convince the victim to accept their offers.

Advance fee fraud

If you are trying to get a loan for a house or a car, they ask to meet the provider to get the financing arrangement and pay the finder's fee in advance.

Corporate fraud

Corporate frauds can be complicated, committed either by the firm or an individual. Nevertheless, it mostly involves cheating where the employee or the firm.

Individual fraud

There are many types of individual frauds related to advance fees, investments, insurance brokers, bogus tradespeople, Ponzi schemes, pension liberation.

Online fraud

Hence the number of cases of online fraud is increasing each year, and most such cases include – account takeover, direct frauds, or scams related domain names.

Identity fraud and identity theft

The criminal uses the stolen identity of another person living or deceased to conduct unlawful activities like obtaining goods or services in another's name.

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