claiming they are police officers in need of help.
Crooks have switched from banks to forex bureaux because victims coming in for one-off exchanges of large amounts of cash do not stand out as much as they do in banks.
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) warns that the typical fraud involves someone calling out of the blue and posing as a police officer. The caller then goes on to ask for help investigating an offence.
The bogus police officer volunteers a telephone number and asks the victim to call back to verify their identity.
No questions asked
The victim ends the call, but the fraudster leaves the line open, so the verification call is made to the same number the fraudster is calling from.
“The banks are catching on to this now. Whenever an elderly person comes into the bank to withdraw cash saying that they’ve been a victim of fraud they get suspicious. What happens now is the victims draw the cash out from a foreign exchange bureau in euros. They don’t ask them any questions,” said an NCIB spokesman.
The crooks have a taxi or courier waiting outside the bureaux to collect the cash.
The spokesman said: “Courier fraud gangs are getting squeezed out of London. What they do now is go to hotels in cities like Manchester and Bristol and stay there for a couple of weeks. They work out of the hotels targeting victims using details from the local telephone and online directories.”
Warnings about bogus advisers – Worldwide
Bogus adviser alerts on the International Organisation of Securities Commissions web site:
- Brainreason – Switzerland
- Tradingsoup – Brazil
- Infinitioption – Brazil
- Lars Jensen – Brazil
- Green Investment House Corp/Fxmarker – Brazil
- Toweb Brasil Ltda Epp – Brazil
- www.secureinvest.org – France
- www.gfi-consulting.com – France
- www.analystinvest.com – France
- www.natexiss-conseil.com – France
- www.financial-advice.net – France
- www.inter-finance.net – France
- www.expert-finance.net – France
- www.financial-strategie.com – France
- www.quantum-groupe.com – France
- www.ef-investing.com – France
- www.partenaire-finance.com – France
- www.fiducial-finance.com – France
- www.financial-international.net – France
- www.financialfutures.net – France
- Experia Management Group – Belgium
- Geyser Bank – Belgium
- Axis Investment Group – Belgium
Warnings about bogus advisers – UK
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) web site has these warnings this week:
- Need Loan Now
- Vanguard Asset Management (clone web site)
- Professional Investment Consultants (clone web site)
- Invesco Capital Limited/ Invesco Investments (clone web site)
Dealing with an unregulated firm
If you buy shares, save money or invest with an unregulated firm, you lose any protection offered by the Financial Ombudsman and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Broadly, you have no independent place to complain if the deal goes wrong and are unlikely to win any compensation.
Checking if a firm is regulated
Go to the Financial Services Register to check if a firm is regulated in the UK.
Reporting a suspected bogus adviser