We’ve all seen them on social media... adverts promising high-return investments. They catch your eye with impressive charts that show soaring profits, and you’re curious enough to click.
A little while later, you receive a call from a friendly, helpful individual who convinces you to sign up. The initial conversations you have sound promising. You’re kept updated about the latest developments and are told that your investment is doing great. Why shouldn’t you invest a little more and let someone else rake in the money for you?
How scammers operate
Once you click on one of these ‘investment ads’, you’re redirected to a contact form on a very professional looking website. You fill in your details, then an ‘investment expert’ calls you with more information. You’re advised to start by investing a small amount to gain experience and you get help and guidance where needed. Thanks to fake charts and dashboards, your investment appears to be doing (really) well.
The problems start when you stop putting additional money into your investment or you want to cash in your gains.
Perhaps more time is needed to transfer your money, you suddenly have to pay certain fees, or there are other issues, all of which are intended to extract even more money from you.
If you don’t play along, all communication will be cut off, or worse still, the fraudsters will start harassing you with threatening phone calls. You’ve lost your investment.
Sometimes they take things a step further. A few months later, you get a call from a law firm or a financial authority promising to recover your money if you pay a retainer. This is another attempt to trick you.
How to prevent investment fraud?
- Be wary of ads that seem too good to be true. If you want to check whether an ad is fraudulent, take the FSMA test.
- Don't let yourself be pressured to act quickly. Always take time to research the investment.
- Check with your bank contact or investment expert before you act.
- Google the company and the contact person. Check whether they have a licence to offer investments. Alarm bells should start ringing if the company was only started up recently.
- Check whether the company appears on the FSMA’s list of suspicious websites. If in doubt, request additional information using the consumer contact form.
- Keep a record of all communication with the company and your contact person.
What to do if you fall victim to fraud
Cut off all contact with the fraudsters and do not accept any offers to recover your money.
Call Secure4u immediately on 016 432 000 (available 24/7).