Online fraud now accounts for 40% of all crime in the UK as recorded by the Crime Survey of England and Wales, with online fraud and cyber crimes responsible for nearly £2bn in losses in 2021.
According to the latest ONS report, investment fraud victims lost the most money last year, with investment fraud showing a 42% year-on-year growth in reported cases.
With people aged 18-24 making up 25% of online investment scam victims, reports have stated that young people are being lured by fake ads and accounts on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as fraudsters promote things such as cryptocurrencies, foreign exchange, and binary options.
However, with the UK Online Safety Bill now put in place to protect users from pre-paid fraudulent adverts as well as user-generated scams, the government hopes to improve on these statistics in the near future.
Social media scams can appear genuine at first glance by using brand logos, made-up T&Cs, and links to surveys and personal detail requests. However, clicking on these links can send your information to third parties.
It’s essential that you review and analyse any profile online and on social media before you make contact with them. Please find below some tips to help safeguard yourself against social media investment scams:
First of all, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is;
Avoid them if they request upfront payments;
Do they begin to rush you for details and a decision;
Check if they are authorised by the FCA;
Inspect the social media URL;
Check yours & their timeline;
Look for the signs of catfish and imposter accounts;.
Contact the ‘real’ company;
Stay vigilant when you see new companies, organisations, or brands.