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FraudSMART issues warning on investment scams offering ‘get rich quick’ opportunities from false companies

Latest alert highlights there is no redress for consumers once money is handed over to unregulated or unauthorised firms

FraudSMART, the fraud awareness initiative led by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), is today urging consumers to be on the alert to investment scams being carried out by false companies offering fake investment opportunities. The warning follows the recent publication by the Central Bank of Ireland of details of three news unauthorised firms who are offering financial services including loans and investments without regulation or authorisation from the CBI.

Describing how these firms operate, Keith Gross, Head of Financial Security with Banking & Payment Federation (BFPI)  said: “These fictitious and unregulated firms will offer the consumer very convincing investment opportunities promising a quick profit or return after they hand over their money. However the opportunity never manifests itself as it simply does not exist.  Significantly there is no redress for the consumer or investor once they hand over money to an unregulated firm.”

“Examples of such scams include bogus firms selling cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin as well as offering bonds and share investment opportunities. Many of these bogus firms often hide behind websites which appear to be legitimate websites and make contact via cold calling, unsolicited emails, social media and via text messages.”

“The Central Bank of Ireland issues regular warnings on such unauthorised firms and we urge consumers to do their research before making any investment or loan application. Their first port of call should be to the Central Banks website where they can check very easily if a firm is regulated or authorised by the Central Bank. If the website/company that is offering the investment or loans is not listed, DO NOT invest or apply for a loan/credit on that website or to that company.” Mr Gross concluded.

Key signs to watch out for with investment scams

  • You are cold called, i.e. you receive a telephone call out of the blue or receive an e-mail or are contacted via social media about a great investment opportunity.
  • You are rushed and pressured into making a decision there and then, with no opportunity or time to consider the investment opportunity.
  • There is a promise of a quick and profitable return on the investment with little or no risk.

Further information on investment and other fraud types can be found on the FraudSMART website


About FraudSMART: FraudSMART is a fraud awareness initiative developed by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) in conjunction with the following member banks, Allied Irish Bank plc, Bank of Ireland, KBC Bank Ireland, PermanentTSB, Ulster Bank, An Post Money and Barclays. The programme aims to raise consumer and business awareness of the latest financial fraud activity and trends and provide simple and impartial advice on how best they can protect themselves and their resources.