Protect yourself against investment scams

Unfortunately, investment scams are becoming more prevalent in the UK. Scammers are determined to obtain access to your money or personal details. So, it’s essential to safeguard yourself.

At Scottish Friendly, our team is dedicated to helping assist you in navigating these types of risks. It is our priority to empower you with the knowledge and tools so you can stay vigilant and avoid falling victim to these scams.

On this page you can find some valuable information to help you recognise the warning signs, helping you to spot and avoid these scams, as well as learning how fraudsters post deals on social media and pretend to be genuine companies or advisers.

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Recognise the warning signs: make easy money

Fraudsters tempt you with investments that you won’t find elsewhere. Here are some examples:

Fraudsters offer promise you'll make easy money

Only fraudsters will promise to make you a quick return on an investment. They advertise online and through social media how easy it is to make money with things like cryptocurrency and other fake deals.

Fraudsters create social media profiles

Social media allows anybody to create a profile, post content and send messages. Fraudsters use this freedom to offer investments that guarantee good returns. They often draw you in with fake examples of success. If you send money, they’ll want more. And you’ll get nothing back.

Did somebody recommend an investment?

Fraudsters can hack anyone’s account to make it seem like a friend is recommending an investment. They also copy images of famous people to make a scam deal seem genuine. Never believe an offer that promises to make you money quickly.

Do you have to pay right away?

If you believe an investment gives a quick return, you may be more likely to pay right away. A short deadline does the same thing: it pushes you into a decision before you take time to check. Fraudsters use these methods to put you under pressure to invest in a scam.

Do your research. Make sure an investment, a company or adviser is genuine by checking the scam warning list and register on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) website.

How do they want you to pay?

A bank transfer sends money directly to another person’s account. That’s why fraudsters prefer this payment method, because it’s just like getting cash and very hard for you to get your money back. Fraudsters will encourage you to invest and often use complicated terms. If you ask too many questions they may stop all contact. Take your time to make sure a deal is genuine and worthwhile.

Do your research

Always do lots of research, especially if you’re a new investor. Websites like the FCA and MoneySavingExpert can help.

If you invest in cryptocurrency, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme can’t protect your money.

Recognise the warning signs: complex investments

Fraudsters know that you’re more likely to invest with someone who has experience and knowledge

Long-term investment scam

They pretend to be genuine companies or advisers.
To win your trust, they’ll treat you like a client, taking time to explain an investment. If you believe they’re a real company or adviser, you’re more likely to give them your money.

Fraudsters pretend to be genuine companies or advisers

It’s easy for a fraudster to pretend to be from a genuine company, or to use the name of a real adviser. They can come across as professional, and may even have paperwork and technology, such as an investment app. Make sure it’s not a scam by checking the register of genuine companies and advisers on the FCA website.

Fraudsters copy genuine websites

Always use the FCA website to check phone numbers and site addresses. Contact a company or adviser to make sure they’re real. Fraudsters can send you a link on social media or email that goes to a fake site. This helps them to convince you they’re somebody genuine.

How do they want you to pay?

Fraudsters can open accounts on genuine apps and sites and ask you to send money that way. But they normally want a bank transfer. This sends money directly to their account and is very hard for you to get back. Fraudsters will encourage you to invest and often use complicated terms to sound like experts. They may stop all contact if you ask too many questions. Take your time to make sure a deal is genuine and worthwhile.

Have you done any research or received advice?

Even a genuine investment comes with some risk. Always research a deal before making up your mind. Talk with family and friends. Ask an independent financial adviser. And use the FCA website to check it’s safe and not on their scam warning list.

Did you expect an offer to invest?

Fraudsters often use stolen contact details to offer investments over the phone, by text or email. They also advertise deals online, hoping you reply with personal or financial details to get more information. If a fraudster has your details, it can help them to make a scam seem more believable.

Common investment scams offer things such as precious gems like diamonds, or metals like gold, wine, land abroad, energy and cryptocurrencies, for example Bitcoin.

We're here to help

If you think you've been a victim of a scam and your accounts with us may have been compromised, please call us immediately and we'll do everything we can to help you.

We will never email or call you to disclose or verify your debit card or bank account details. If you are contacted or receive an unsolicited email which asks you for these details, ignore the email and report the incident to us.

Call us

(UK) 0333 323 5433 or (Eire) 3531 800 816 736.

For Canada Life customers please call 0330 135 9539.

Lines are open 8.30am-5.30pm, Monday to Friday. 

For Mobius Life customers please call 01733 353405, Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4pm.

Calls may be monitored for quality and feedback purposes.

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Write to us

Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Ltd

Galbraith House

16 Blythswood Square


G2 4HJ