How Common Are Investment Scams? What To Watch Out For.

An investment scam, also commonly known as investment fraud, is when a con artist gives you fake information in order to get you to pay into an investment that either doesn’t exist or exists in some form, other than what you’re told about it.

Investment scams come in many shapes and sizes. They can look like pyramid schemes, in which many people willingly part ways with their money and do not think they are being scammed until they notice low or nonexistent ROI – and that’s if the victim ever realises that they are being scammed at all. They may simply blame themselves for poor performance when inside the pyramid scheme. 

Or an investment scam can be more overt and the scammer may present themselves through a cold call from a fake telemarketer urging you to invest money in a business, stock, or currency that doesn’t even exist.

The people behind investment scams typically target older demographics (30s and over) simply due to the fact that they are more likely to have accrued savings than people in their 20s. They especially like to target senior citizens as they may be more vulnerable to scams, particularly in an era where it’s so easy to create a website and fake a convincing online presence, and discerning the safe from the fraudulent is trickier than ever.

So, How common Are Investment Scams?

Firstly, are all investment scams even reported? As we mentioned earlier, some scams, such as pyramid schemes, operate in such a way that many victims never realise that they’re being duped. They believe they are willing participants just waiting for their hard work to pay off. Many of those who are lured into pyramid schemes may just write off their experience as bad luck and never call the whole thing a scam.

Furthermore, many people, if they do realise they’ve fallen for a scam, may feel so ashamed that they do not want to tell anyone.

However, the Financial Conduct Authority reports that 1 in 10 people in the UK have fallen victim to financial fraud in the last five years. So if you are one of those 1 in 10, don’t be ashamed – you are in good company.

Nevertheless, whether you’ve been a victim of an investment scam or not, here’s what you can do to protect yourself in the future:

Signs Of An Investment Scam

The following are red flags that you may be looking at a less than legitimate “investment”:

    • The business or company that is contacting you is unregistered
    • You receive uninvited communications via phone, post, email or text message
    • You feel pressured into making a quick decision
    • You cannot find a direct phone number
    • Their address is a PO Box

You can protect yourself early on by rejecting unsolicited calls, and by seeking advice from an FCA-regulated investment expert.


Contact Us

Investment scams are more common than we think, and anyone can be a target.

Always do background research on any potential investment opportunity – and if a business really does look legitimate, check to see how long they have been operating. Newer scams may be so new that they are still flying under the radar, and no one has reported them yet.

Call Integritas today for help and advice on how to invest your money safely.

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