Many fraudulent investment schemes use social media to find potential victims. For example, you may receive a message from someone you do not know who offers investment services. In another case, you may be referred to someone who could make a good return on your investment. Such persons will qualify for the title of experienced and professional investment managers, in another case, those who recommend their services will share their successful experience with such managers to justify their recommendations. Similarly, such persons most often offer a potential investor to open an account with a brokerage or investment firm.
If someone contacts you via social media when offering investment services or the services of an investment manager, always keep in mind that such services require a licence from a formal government regulator such as FINRA in the US, the FCA in the UK and ASIC in Australia. If an individual provides you with a copy of such license, be sure to check the website of the regulator and make sure that the license under this number is valid (not revoked, suspended, revoked, or forged).
If an individual asks you to open a trading or investment account with a financial company, ask the individual to provide proof that he or she is an employee, representative, agent or otherwise affiliated with that company. If an individual is unable to establish an affiliation with a financial company, he or she may be acting in his or her own best interests. Be sure to conduct an online search by company name to find possible feedback and assessments from other investors, regulators or associations. Negative feedback regarding the loss or theft of funds should alert you to the bad faith of the persons sought. It is also important to review the company's website for information that is required to be disclosed. We will discuss this in more detail below.
Any offer to invest or manage your investment received through social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, etc. should be considered with extreme care. Genuine services may only be provided by licensed individuals be sure to request all licensing information if you are interested in the services offered and confirm the information with the regulator.
Investing funds always involves a high risk of loss and therefore there is no basis for claiming profit security.
Never send funds to an individual for subsequent placement in investment companies providing financial services on your behalf.
Do not send or trust your funds to any person or company until you fully understand the risks involved in online trading and investing in financial instruments.
If you are approached by or advised by a so-called investment advisor/manager or financial manager, or by a friend, relative or other person, we recommend that you carefully check all the information that has been provided to you before making any decision regarding the start of an investment or trade.
How to Recognize Fraudulent Site
In addition to online offers from individuals, people can react to the advertising of a company offering investment and trade services through the website. Investors and potential traders should exercise caution before deciding to open an account or send funds to such platforms. It is important to first review the site and ensure that it contains certain key information that helps distinguish good companies from fraudulent ones.
What should be taken into account when reviewing the website of an investment services company:
Do you have a physical office address and telephone number to contact? Can I confirm the address on Google Maps? Does the country listed in the address match the country where the contact phone number is listed? Can I easily copy and paste company name, address and contact information from the website using standard computer commands in my Internet browser?
Does the website contain comprehensive information about the risks associated with an investment or investment management (usually indicated in the footer bottom of the website)?
Does the name and address of the company shown on the website match the information provided by the company in the Terms and Conditions or the Customer Agreement?
If you answered "no" to any of these questions while browsing the website offering investment services, this website may be used for fraudulent purposes. To ensure that your company registration and contact information is authentic, you may contact the company by phone, chat or email for information of interest. Similarly, the use of an online mapping service may help determine whether the address is actually a building with offices or other building commonly used for business purposes.
Another way to assess the risks associated with investing in a particular financial services company is to examine their client withdrawal policies. Most, if not all reputable companies allow clients to withdraw their funds from an investment or trading account almost immediately during normal business hours or within one or two business days without any preconditions. In addition, the client is usually notified electronically when the withdrawal process is complete.
If you find that the company with which you are interested to invest includes in its withdrawal policy additional conditions about the need to make an additional deposit or funds, payment of any taxes or interest on the withdrawal amount in order to process the transaction, it is possible that the company is engaged in fraudulent activity.
It is very important to pay attention to these details before opening an account or sending funds to the company as it can be very difficult to recover your funds once they have been credited.
Withdrawals from reputable companies usually take no more than a few business days and are then electronically notified when the funds have been credited to your personal account. The Company should not have in its policy conditions requiring you to pay additional funds, tax or interest on the withdrawal amount in order to return your original funds.
Be sure to read these rules before opening or depositing an account.