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Fraudsters target Instagram users with investment scam

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25/02/2019
Instagram users are being warned about ‘get rich quick’ schemes following a rise in fraudulent investment posts on the social media app.

The scam posts ask for a £600 initial investment and promise a high return within just 24 hours.

Action Fraud said it received 356 reports of this type of fraud between October 2018 and February 2019, with the average victim losing £8,900.

Victims pay the £600 via bank transfer to the fraudster’s bank account. The fraudsters then send screenshots showing thousands in profit crediting their accounts, which they claim can be released for a fee.

But when victims want to withdraw their funds, the fraudsters stop contact with the victim and close the Instagram account.

Action Fraud said people aged between 20 and 30 are the most likely to fall victim to this type of scam.

Inspector Paul Carroll, of Action Fraud, said: “Opportunistic fraudsters are taking advantage of unsuspecting victims who are going about their day-to-day lives on social media.

“It’s vital that you follow the simple steps below to make sure you don’t fall victim to this fraud.

“If you think you have been a victim, contact Action Fraud.”

How to stay safe when scrolling:

  • Never respond to any requests to send money, or have money transferred into your account by someone you don’t know and trust. These types of requests should always raise a red flag. If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it.
  • Don’t immediately agree to any offer that involves an advance payment or having to sign a contract on the spot. Always speak with a friend or family member first.
  • Always check the credentials of any financial company on the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) website: – they should be on the register. Contact the preferred company directly and reject any offers made through unsolicited communications.
  • Every report maters – if you have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime, report it to Action Fraud onlineor by calling 0300 123 2040.

 

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