Crypto scammers are taking advantage of the cost of living crisis
People are being warned not to be tempted into bogus investments, such as cryptocurrency scams, because the cost of living is biting.
A growing number of Investment fraud complaints are investigated by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
Many of these complaints relate to cryptocurrency, he said.
Scams often involve someone being tricked into buying cryptocurrency through a legitimate intermediary and then sending money to what they believe to be a genuine investment platform, which is actually exploited by fraudsters.
In investment fraud cases, the ombudsman service said it had seen examples of consumers being defrauded out of tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The service’s workload between April and June included 570 complaints lodged by customers, often against their bank, after authorizing payments later found to involve investment scams.
This compares to 500 complaints during the same period a year earlier.
The FOS upheld around 60% of consumer investment fraud complaints between April and June this year.
Nausicaa Delfas, acting director general and chief ombudsman of the FOS, said: “We are concerned that in the current economic circumstances people are tempted to invest in bogus investments.”
“Our advice to consumers is to beware, conduct their own research, check the FCA register and contact the company directly on the number given.
“If people feel they have been treated unfairly by their bank, they should contact the Financial Ombudsman Service, and we will see if we can help them.”
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