Investment fraud is becoming increasingly common, and is often long-term. Usually, the fraud involves tricking an investor out of money on repeated occasions. It may be done in the following way:
The fraud often starts with an evening phone call from an English-speaking advisor who wants to tell you about profitable investments. The advisor is keen to send you a brochure about the brokerage firm. After this, more contacts follow. Once confidence has been established, you receive an offer about a very attractive investment.
However, when you want to sell, the “conditions” are rarely right. Often, you are persuaded to invest more money to lower the average price. You may also receive a call from another broker that wants to buy your shares, but in order to sell them, you have to pay a number of fake fees in advance.
- The last phase involves you being phoned by a lawyer who claims to represent several other parties who have also been tricked. In return for paying further advance fees, you can get help to sue the brokerage firm.
The fraudulent companies often have professional-looking websites and names which closely resemble those of well-known firms. The companies often refer to fictitious public authorities and the websites of these authorities, for which they themselves are responsible.