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Fake profiles on social media lure people into “investing” in Binary Options

23rd August 2016

How does the scam work?

Fraudsters are setting up fake profiles on popular social media websites and making out they are successful Binary Options or Forex Traders.

To draw victims into investing the scammers post photos posing in exclusive locations, supercars and flashing high end watches. They have also been known to post “testimonials” which show fake messages from happy customers.

The fraudsters offer victims the chance to “invest” by sending money via bank or money transfer for a “cut of the profits”. They usually ask for £100-£200 and claim they can make it into £1,000 or £2,000, but in reality just take the money and never trade it.

From the reports made to Action Fraud 33% of victims are aged less than 30 years old and 9% under the age of 20, which is extremely unusual in investment fraud. When victims become suspicious and ask for their money back, they are instantly blocked on social media. No money has ever been recovered.

In some cases victims lose out twice, as they’re told their trading has been successful and are asked to send more money to invest or to send a fee to release the profit they’ve supposedly made.

How to protect yourself

  • Be suspicious of any approach via social media as no reputable brokers would do this.
  • Do not give out personal or financial details and never agree to anything or send money upfront, without making your own enquires into the company or individual first.
  • Further advice on Binary Options scams can be found here

If you have been contacted by a suspicious firm or have been affected by this, or any other scam, report it us. 

To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.

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