You are here: Home - Investing - Experienced Investor - News -

Instagram users lose more than £350,000 to money flipping scams

0
Written by: Emma Lunn
12/08/2020
Action Fraud received 164 reports from users of the photo-sharing app who had fallen victim to fraudulent investment schemes in June alone.

In total, the victims lost £358,809 to fraudsters promising big returns for little effort. This equates to an average of £2,187 per person.

In the scams, victims were approached via Instagram’s instant messaging system by fraudsters advertising their services.

Typically the scammers would ask for an initial investment of a few hundred pounds which they said would be used to trade on the stock market or to buy and trade foreign currency.

The fraudsters claimed they could multiply the initial investment several times within a matter of days this way, with the cash then returned to the investor after a small commission was deducted for the service.

But, in reality, once the initial investment had been transferred, the victim was given a series of excuses as to why their money and ‘profits’ couldn’t be returned unless more money was sent.

Eventually all contact would be severed and the victim blocked by the suspect.

Victims were usually requested to send the money by bank transfer or through a cryptocurrency platform which means it is nearly impossible to retrieve.

Whilst individual financial losses from this fraud are relatively small compare to other types of fraudulent investment schemes, this fraud targets a younger demographic. Victims are typically aged between 20 and 30, with many financially vulnerable and searching for a quick and easy way to make money.

How to spot the signs of a money scam

  • Unsolicited offers

A common tactic used by criminals is to promote ‘investment’ opportunities via social media accounts, promising large returns from a small up-front payment.

Never respond to any requests to send money, or have money transferred through your account, by someone you don’t know and trust.

  • Investment opportunities

Don’t be rushed into making an investment. Legitimate organisations will never pressure you into making a transaction on the spot.

  • Seek advice first

Speak with a trusted friend or family members, and seek independent professional advice before making significant financial decisions.

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Seven ways to get help with energy bills this winter

We knew today’s announcement was going to be painful, but it’s still a shock to the system. When this kick...

Flight cancelled or delayed? Your rights explained

With no sign of the problems in UK aviation easing over the peak summer period, many will worry whether holida...

Rail strikes: Your travel and refund rights

Thousands of railway workers will strike across three days this week, grinding much of the transport system to...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week