Investment scammers upped the ante in 2020, taking advantage of investor nervousness to cheat them out of millions.

In a year where pandemic uncertainty marred the UK’s economic and market outlook, scammers preyed on the doubts felt by many investors and secured payments by posing as legitimate investment firms.

According to the Investment Association, the trade body that represents the UK’s investment management sector, the total number of reported incidents has quadrupled since July – when it last warned investors of the risks.

In the three months to 12 October, 1175 incidences of these sophisticated “cloning scams” were reported, compared with 300 in the three months to July. A total of £9.4m of investor money was lost to this surge in activity, more than double the £4m lost from March to July of 2020.

With 2021 shaping up to…

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