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Financial scams are on the rise due to progressive innovation and the introduction of pension flexibilities. Did you know that venture scamsannually lose an estimated PS1.2bn to fraudsters using share deals, wine speculations, and carbon attributes to target potential investors?
Fraudsters target potential investors of all backgrounds, ages, and pay levels. Unfortunately, this means that anyone reading this article could become a victim.
Con artists constantly change their strategies. However, the following warnings could help you spot a trick or speculation:
Be Cautious - If a phone call, message, email, or instant message asks you to make a payment, sign up for an online account, or offer you a deal, please be very careful. Online retailers and money-related organisations will never ask you for passwords or any other sensitive data. Do not give out any personal information if you receive a cold call out of the oridinary from anyone claiming to be from your local bank or building society.
Scammers frequently use extraordinary persuading techniques to get you to sign up. Do not be pushed to make a decision by anyone.
Scammers will make an investment or offer sound extremely engaging and suggest that it's safer than it actually is.
Con artists frequently make offers that are difficult to believe. You may get higher returns or loan fees than what you have seen elsewhere.
Scammers will try to establish a relationship with you in order to win your trust. Avoid any person who keeps calling you repeatedly or who attempts to keep you on the phone for extended periods of time.
You might be told that you are receiving an extraordinary, potentially limited or special offer.
It is possible to be educated to not tell anyone about the offer you were given. However, talking to trusted family members about any venture offer that you have received could help you recognise a scam.
Fraudsters are well-known for targeting past victims of venture extortion. If you have previously invested, they will claim that they can recover your lost cash. These organisations may ask you to pay an upfront fee, but they won't return your cash.
There are some organisations that do tricks and base themselves abroad in order to keep away from administrative requirements. Therefore, if an organisation based abroad contacts you about investment opportunities, be cautious.
Some con artists try to convince people to invest their money in exotic ventures that seem too good to be true. This 'opportunity could be an upgrade to an existing Hotel or Vineyard, Rare Gems, or a plot on land.
The fraudsters try to imitate a real speculation company by convincing you of things. They might even give you endorsements, polished pamphlets and expert-looking websites.
Scammers will contact you suddenly with what appears to be an incredible opportunity and attempt to pressure you into making a hasty choice.
To avoid being scammed, there are some basic steps you can take:
Do not respond to cold calls, text messages, or emails.
If you get cold-called by someone claiming to have an incredible venture opportunity, hang up immediately. Do not respond to instant messages or messages from people you don't know.
Avoid engaging with unregulated advisors.
To ensure that the organisation is properly registered and regulated, visit the Financial Conduct Authority website.
Be cautious when considering overseas ventures.
You must be 100% certain that the investment is genuine and fully understand the risks.
Lookout to see plans that offer 'guaranteed returns.'
AJ Bell's Tom Selby says that Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, are guaranteed in investments. Government bonds and final salary pensions are the closest you will get - which ironically is what scammers encourage people to abandon. So don't believe any company that promises guaranteed returns, even if you have never heard of them.
Do not rush to make a decision.
Be careful if you're being pressured into making a decision. Before you sign any legal documentation, make sure to read every document thoroughly, including the small print.
Report possible scamsto Action Fraud.
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