The get rich quick scams on Facebook and Twitter that could cost you THOUSANDS – The Sun

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YOUNG Brits are being urged not to be taken in by fraudsters advertising dodgy investments online and over social media.

Crooks are advertising money scams on sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to tempt youngsters into giving up their cash, watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned.

Instagram

An example of a binary option scam from Instagram

It found Brits under 25 were six times more likely to trust an offer about investments they see on social media compared to those over 55 – leaving them vulnerable to being scammed.

Launching its new ScamSmart campaign, the FCA said crooks are typically using the sites to promise high-returns on investments like cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, foreign exchange or binary options.

But after someone has invested, fraudsters will distort prices on their website, tie people in with extreme pay-out clauses and even close customer accounts, refusing to pay back their money.

Last year, investors lost a whopping £87,410 per day to binary options scams.

The FCA is worried these type of get rich quick ads are duping young people

More than £87,000 was lost every day last year in binary scams

Binary options allow people to make a bet on the price of something, such as a stock or currency, rising or falling.

If your “bet” is right, you should see a return on your investment – but many unregulated firms distort prices and payouts and refuse to pay back an investor’s money.

Foreign exchange scams promise high returns and guaranteed profits – and usually an investor will see some money returned to them to give the impression that they are not being scammed.

They will then be encouraged to invest more but soon the returns will stop, and the victim is left with no way of getting their money back.

Mark Steward, director of enforcement at the FCA, said: “As people have become more sceptical of investment-related cold calls and consumer habits have changed, we have seen investment fraud moving online and to social media.

“While their websites and profiles appear to be professional, they are all too often run by fraudsters who fix prices and pay-outs, or in some instances don’t really place trades at all, before disappearing with innocent investors’ money.

“Before investing online, check you know who you are really dealing with and check if they are authorised by the FCA. Find out how to avoid scams on the ScamSmart website and, if in any doubt, don’t invest.”

INVESTMENT FRAUD: HOW TO STAY SAFE

INVESTMENT fraud can cost victims thousands of pounds. Here are some tips from the FCA about how you can stay safe.

1. Reject unsolicited investment offers whether made online, on social media or over the phone.

2. Before investing, check the FCA Register to see if the firm or individual you are dealing with is authorised and check the FCA Warning List of firms to avoid.

3. Get impartial advice before investing. Suspected investment scams can be reported to the FCA at www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart.

Earlier this month, The Sun Online reported on the dangers of social media scams, which can dupe people out of their cash.

MoneySavingExpert’s Martin Lewis and Virgin boss Richard Branson are among the celebrities who have had their images used without their permission to promote dodgy schemes.

TV presenter Nick Hewer, who is supporting the campaign, added: “The amount being lost every day to online investment fraud, such as binary options scams, is staggering.

“It’s vital for all those on social media to be extra cautious about engaging in any conversations or with adverts that relate to quick-wins or guaranteed returns, especially with individuals or companies you do not know.

“Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. If you are offered an attractive investment out of the blue, be suspicious, check the FCA’s Warning List and seek impartial advice.

“Better still, if you get an email or message about an investment from someone you don’t know, just delete it.”

At the beginning of January, binary options became a regulated investment product, meaning all firms trading in binary options will need to be authorised by the FCA.

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