With much of our lives now being conducted online and through Social Media the scope for fraudsters and scammers to target us is an ever-increasing threat.

Often, scammers will contact you out of the blue. This can be through, phone call, email, text or social media. They will also pressure you into making a rushed decision by saying it is a limited offer or a bonus is available if committing straight away. They will call or email repeatedly to keep the pressure on and trick you in to making a rushed decision.

Increasingly fraudsters will use platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to promote complicated structures, foreign exchange and cryptocurrencies. Their Social Media profiles can be very convincing and may even purport to have support from well-known celebrities.

Your best course of action, if you are interested in any type of investment, is to do a little research yourself before committing to anything. In the UK a firm must be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), although this is not applicable to Mortgage and Protection Advisers.

Therefore, the first thing to do is check that those you are speaking to are registered with the FCA via their website https://www.fca.org.uk/firms/financial-services-register.

In addition, the FCA issue a warning list so you can check if you are dealing with a known scam https://www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart.
Finally, seek professional advice. By checking the FCA register you will be able to identify an authorised financial adviser firm who will be able to discuss the potential investment with you. They will be aware of the type of scams people are targeted with and will be able to guide and advise you into properly established investment solutions.

In a nutshell, if something sounds too good to be true it probably is and checking things out first is the most sensible approach.

Source: Mumsnet