Investment fraud has risen extensively during the Covid-19 lockdown, Action Fraud reported a steep rise in cases with Pauline Smith, head of Action Fraud, commenting "The coronavirus outbreak sadly led to many people losing their job or having to manage with a lower income than they were used to. It has also caused a shake-up in the economy in general, with interest rates falling, in a similar way to the financial crisis of 2008. All of these factors provide criminals with the opportunity to attract more people with their fraudulent investment schemes".
The latest figures from the Police Foundation, the police think tank, reported just 180 cases valued at £15 million. Whereas the investment industry guesses that a more accurate figure would be £4 billion. Disappointingly, despite frauds amounting to a third of all crime in the UK, fraud is not prioritised by the police, even though 30% of the victims stated that the impact of their losses was severe. Only 8,313 of the reported 277,561 reports of fraud in 2017/18 resulted in criminal charges. Almost all the investigations were carried out by non-specialist police officers despite the fact that specialist officers have far greater success. But with just 0.8% of the police work in specialist economic crime teams there simply isn't the manpower.
The lawyers in Giambrone's banking and finance litigation team point out the markets are complex and that it takes legitimate investment brokers some considerable time to be able to be sufficiently knowledgeable to be able to successfully trade. Fraudsters typically ensure that their victims are novice traders and do not understand the complexities of trading. Giambrone's lawyers also point out that the vast majority of movement in currencies is controlled by large banks and other institutions with far greater information on the zero-sum market.
Unauthorised Forex traders and brokerage firms increasingly target consumers by holding out the promise of impossibly high returns and guaranteed profits, typically the fraudster offers to make the trades on behalf of the novice investor or encourages them to use the fraudster's trading platform. It is estimated by the UK's National Crime Agency that possibly only a fifth of crimes involving fraud ever are reported to the police.
If you believe that you have been the target of a fraudulent investment broker all may not be lost, the lawyers in Giambrone's banking and finance litigation team specialise in recovering funds that have vanished in an investment fraud. You may not have to rely on an under-resourced police forces or regulatory authorities that rarely take action. Our skilled lawyers have enjoyed considerable success when pursuing such fraudsters across the globe. Giambrone has the advantage of English speaking lawyers who are able to represent our clients in a wide range of jurisdictions across the world. Giambrone's banking and financial fraud litigation team has a track record of recovery which has previously seen the restoration of six-figure sums to our clients. As expected the fraudsters take extraordinary steps to cover their tracks as well as trying to ensure that the money they have acquired through their fraudulent actions is hard to find. Giambrone's lawyers have evolved a series of tried and tested strategies that produce first-class results for our clients who were defrauded.
It is essential to look closely at any investment broker and ensure that they are regulated by either Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or the regulating authority in the jurisdiction in which they are operating. check the FCA's scam smart information, do not allow yourself to be forced into hasty decisions, if the opportunity is genuine it will not simply disappear.