Financial fraud continues to spiral uncontrolled with scammers defrauding their victims out of millions of pounds each year in fake financial investment frauds. There are many approaches to fraud that the wrongdoers adopt from romance fraud to impersonation fraud, are becoming more refined. It is harder to identify fraudsters, particularly for novice financial investment targets.

Joanna Bailey, head of Giambrone & Partners banking and financial fraud litigation team, commented "investment fraud, in particular, is rising fast and often the victims do not realise that they have been targeted and duped into handing over large sums of money to scammers who lure them into the scam with promises of unrealistic returns. It is estimated that as much as £7 billion is stolen from unwitting victims in scams each year" Joanna further pointed out "the lack of understanding on how the investment market operates often means that the novice investor does not realise that they are dealing with an unregulated firm that is proposing types of high risk investment that novice investors are not permitted to trade in, such as contracts for difference (CDF). Alternatively they are deceived into applying for professional trader status and coached through the application, this removes all measures that the regulators impose to protect against fraud."

The Daily Mail reported that the Prime Minister intends to set up a National Fraud Squad replacing the Action Fraud Agency. The National Fraud Squad with be will be run jointly by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and City of London Police, with the express purpose of identifying the wrongdoers and preventing fraud. An initial team of 300 investigators expanding to 500 in 2025 will be appointed. The government also intends to use the expertise of MI6 and Government Communications Headquarters, (GCHQ) to assist in identifying the fraudsters, particularly those located overseas.

The leading lawyers in Giambrone & Partners banking and financial fraud litigation department believe that unless a comprehensive anti-fraud programme is developed involving every aspect of the way the perpetrators and facilitation of the various frauds, the highly adaptive fraudsters will continue to find victims and ways to take their money. Each piece of the wrongdoers puzzle must be shut down, meaning bankers, social media platforms, technology and regulators must work together and act swiftly when fraud is identified.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has introduced new measures for bankers in the fight against financial fraud, including enhanced monitoring and training for banking staff to identify suspicious activity.

Jim Winters, Director of Economic Crime at Nationwide Building Society said: "The lure of big returns can be very tempting, but if people aren't careful, they can lose life-changing amounts to an investment scam. At a time when many are experiencing financial pressures, we are seeing an increase in these types of crime – both in terms of volume and the amount lost. These types of scams can often be quite sophisticated, as the fraudsters may have created websites and paperwork to help convince people the investment is genuine."

Our lawyers also point out that it has been reported in the press that the Meta platforms, Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp and the primary platforms used by financial scammers. The introduction of enhanced global regulation to compel online platforms to take further steps to prevent scams and assist in identifying those that use Meta platforms to perpetrate fraud would considerably help to reduce the opportunity for fraudsters to operate.

Joanna Bailey advises and acts for international and UK-based clients in disputes for clients ranging from shareholder and other commercial disputes, professional negligence, negligent misrepresentation and fraud, asset tracing and recovery, freezing orders and other injunctions and interim remedies, international/conflict of laws and human rights.

Joanna is highly regarded for her meticulous approach and her persistence when investigating international fraud matters. Her considerable experience and dogged pursuit frequently leads to the successful recovery of funds for clients. Joanna frequently leads the litigation against financial institutions involved in cryptocurrency trading disputes, as well as Forex investment issues and regulatory investigations and has some considerable success in retrieving our clients' funds lost in fraud.

Joanna was named Lawyer of the Week in The Times.

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