Greater than 700 folks have been conned out of thousands and thousands of kilos within the West Midlands after fraudsters have taken benefit throughout this yr’s pandemic.
West Midlands Police stated 728 folks have been scammed out of a whopping £10.4 million by funding fraudsters within the yr from September 2019 to 2020, with the variety of folks being conned doubling through the pandemic.
Whereas 121 folks had been duped from January to March this yr, that determine nearly doubled in June, July and August, with the West Midlands pressure issuing a recent warning to folks to be on their guard.
Police stated scammers often chilly name, or make contact by way of social media, and supply a possibility to put money into a product or scheme.
They are going to then try to persuade folks to speculate by claiming there are big returns and potential revenue on supply. This can be within the type of bonds or cryptocurrency comparable to Bitcoin.
Nonetheless, after cash has been exchanged they may disappear simply earlier than you expect to get the additional cash you must make out of your funding – which is finally nugatory or non-existent.
Kloe Burrows, from our financial crime unit, stated: “Sadly, we’ve seen an increase in scammers making the most of folks throughout the West Midlands.
“There was an enormous sum of money misplaced to con-artists by way of funding fraud over the past 12 months, significantly because the yr has gone on.
“By no means really feel pressured into making a fast determination with out being given time to do your analysis. It’s a tell-tale signal that one thing will not be fairly proper.”
West Midlands Police provided the next recommendation to assist cease folks being conned.
The pressure stated:
• If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is;
• Analysis what you might have been provided and the funding firm;
• Don’t be pressured into making a fast determination;
• Search unbiased monetary recommendation earlier than committing to any funding;
• To make protected investments check out the Monetary Conduct Authority’s ScamSmart.