Bitcoin image by WorldSpectrum from Pixabay
Fraud involving digital cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin are becoming more common in investment fraud scams according to Gardaí who are highlighting the dangers of such frauds.
The dangers of falling prey to investment scammer was flagged on day one of the Garda Fraud Awareness Week which began on March 8.
"Unfortunately, such scams are becoming more prevalent, particularly during the pandemic due to increased online traffic and targeting of the general public by criminals using ever increasingly sophisticated means.
"An investment fraud scam is a fraud where criminals pose as investment managers, promise quick and high rates of return, and simply steal your money. The fraudster uses various investment schemes such as in rare metals, overseas property, and alternative energy schemes such as carbon credits and forestry. Promises are made of fast, enormous returns, once in a lifetime opportunities and can be seen to be endorsed by reputable business people or celebrities but this is without their knowledge," say gardaí
Gardaí have the following tips on how to avoid being the victim of an investment fraud scam?
• If it is too good to be true, it probably is
• Do your own research and be wary of wild claims
o Always seek independent financial and legal advice before making any investments
o Check the various registers on the Central Bank of Ireland’s website
o Use regulated investment firms where possible (Virtual assets are not currently regulated in Ireland)
• Do not respond to unsolicited approaches or cold-calls
• Don’t click on links for websites that you don’t know
• NEVER EVER disclose your bank account passwords or codes
• NEVER allow anyone remote access to your computer
Further information on investment and other fraud types can be found on www.garda.in and www.fraudSMART.ie
Inspector Steven Meighan of the Garda National Economic Fraud Bureau discusses below: