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Cryptocurrency investment fraud is a type of criminality where investors are tricked into using fake cryptocurrency trading platforms and it is unfortunately on the rise.
Victims are lured in with adverts on social media which promise fantastic gains and are convinced to send substantial funds to the trading platform operators.
Unbeknownst to victims, their investment funds are directly benefiting fraudsters who use the trading site as a guise to convince them that they have lost all of their money through bad trades.
We have also recently had instances of victims being re-targeted by fake trading platforms who wish to trick them into buying Bitcoin.
Fraudsters are exploiting the current uncertainty of the financial market to offer seemingly fantastic investment returns which appear too good to be true. They often use celebrity endorsements in fake news articles to try and convince people the investment is legitimate.
Victims are bombarded with confusing technical jargon as scammers exploit a lack of knowledge on a technical subject, such as cryptocurrency, to persuade people into letting the trading platform ‘manage’ their account for them.
The following is an account of how someone recently fell victim to this type of scam:
“My partner had been reviewing online endorsements from Richard Branson, Gordon Ramsey and others about trading Bitcoin. They were so impressed they decided to invest £250 online with the platform in question. Shortly after this our house phone was ringing and it was someone claiming to be from the trading platform offering to manage our account.”
There are a number of ways in which trading platforms will attempt to contact potential victims, these include:
Offenders will claim to be a representative from a trading platform and build relationships with you over a period of time to instil trust
How to protect yourself:
If you think you may already be a victim report it to your bank immediately and contact Action fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online https://reporting.actionfraud.police.uk/login