WATCH: Investment scams are becoming harder to spot - gardaí offer advice for consumers

"This money represents people's life savings and their hard-earned money"

An Garda Síochána are reminding the public to be aware of the rise in investment fraud scams.

A spokesperson said: "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."

So what is an investment fraud scam?
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.

How can people avoid being the victim of these scams?
An Garda Síochana has the following advice for consumers:
-If it is too good to be true, it probably is
-Do your own research and be wary of wild claims
-Always seek independent financial and legal advice before making any investments
-Check the various registers on the Central Bank of Ireland’s website
-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.ie and www.fraudSMART.ie

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