West Mercia Police – Economic Crime Unit – 19/10/2022 News Update

                                            INVESTMENT FRAUD

Warning on ‘get rich quick’ schemes as investment fraud soars among young professionals on social media

‘Get rich quick’ investment opportunities are soaring amongst young professionals, with more than £890 million lost to investment fraud last year.

Criminals are evolving the way that they target people with bogus investment opportunities, with many victims now being targeted on social media.

The total amount lost to investment fraud in the 2021/22 financial year rose by a staggering 49.5 per cent on the previous period (£890,916,169 up from £596,053,731). New data from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) also shows there were 26,170 reports of investment fraud to Action Fraud in the same period, meaning victims lost an average of £34,043.41 each.

How to spot the signs and protect yourself

·         Before deciding to invest, always do your research and do not let anyone rush you. Only criminals will put pressure on you to make a quick decision. Stop, take time to think and consult trusted friends and family members before parting with your money.

·         Be cautious if you are asked to change money into cryptocurrency to invest or make a payment via cryptocurrency. This is often a tactic used by fraudsters.

·         Be aware that some investment opportunity approaches can come via social media. Always undertake additional research to check the validity of such an opportunity.

·         Fraudsters have been known to hack social media accounts to promote bogus investments. If you are making an investment based on a recommendation from a friend or family member sent via social media, check that this has actually been sent by them.

·         Scammers will often create professional looking websites and utilise fake business premise locations to give an impression of legitimacy.

·  Never let anyone take control of your phone or computer for any reason.  A reputable business would never do this.

·  Check on the FCA website to see if an investment business is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.



 A recent report from a potential victim of an Energy Bill Scam went as follows:

A call was received claiming to be from the person’s Energy Company and asking for a meter reading, serial number, bank details and other personal details. Fortunately the person did not have the information to hand and rang back the Energy Company on the listed number, so in this case no money was lost.

Never provide financial or personal details over the phone unless you are 100% sure the caller is genuine, always use the listed telephone number on the invoice.


 There has been a recent spike in Romance Fraud reports centred on the Worcester area, where victims have lost money to Scammers.

Please remember never to give out money, gift cards or any other form of payment to someone you may have met on the internet but never met in person, however convincing their request may be.


Premium Rate Telephone Number Scam

 This Scam, which we highlighted 2 weeks ago, applies equally to calls to DVLA where victims have inadvertently called a third party premium number displayed on the Internet and ended up paying unsolicited call charges and fees.

So, when looking for Government Department contact details, always use the official Government Services Website – GOV.UK

Take Five To Stop Fraud

·  Stop: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.

·  Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

·  Protect: If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

 For further information visit: