Through online social media platform, forums or instant messengers, fraudsters promote investments

What is online investment fraud?

Through online social media platform, forums or instant messengers, fraudsters promote investments with low risks and high returns and attract netizens to invest.  However, most of the investment plans do not exist or are filled with traps.  Some fraudsters falsify transaction records that appears to be gaining profits, luring victims into investing more money.  Eventually, fraudsters can no longer be reached.

How scammers deceive

Hunting for victims online

Make as many new friends as possible, upload their “photos of everyday life” frequently to show off their wealth in order to gain credibility

Posing as investment consultants or fund managers

  • Claim to be highly experienced in investing in crypto asset, precious metals or forex

Ramp and Dump

Recommend victims to buy “penny stocks”.  In fact, fraudsters have already purchased a significant portion of the stock at lower prices.  When victims purchase the stock and ramp up the share price, fraudsters will then dump all their shares

Fraudulent Investment Applications

Lure victims into installing fraudulent investment applications showing fake transactions and returns

System failure occurs/ handling fee is required when cashing out

If victims want to cash out, fraudsters would ask for expensive handling fees or claim that system failure occurs to delay payment

Establishing a romantic relationship (also known as “Pig-butchering Scam”)

Establish a romantic relationship/ an online romantic relationship to gain the trust of the victims and lure them into making investment

Characteristics of fake online investment platforms or apps

The URLs of fake websites are generally not found in search engines and fake apps are not listed on official app stores. The stock or product prices, as well as the user’s asset portfolio etc., are all fake.

When the victims make profits and request to cash out, the fake platform administrator will make up excuses, such as account is frozen, fines for illegal investments, extra service recharge to process the cashing out etc., to lure the victims to make further investments. Victims end up suffering huge losses.

Scam Prevention Tips

Beware of the investment projects recommended by the perfect men/women you know online.  If in doubt, you may search their photos on their social media account with search engines and check if there is anything abnormal in the friend lists of the account, or request to have a video call with them

Do not sign any investment authorisations

Stay vigilant against investment plans with unrealistic yields

Do not download any unknown applications

Do not easily trust “inside investment information” on social platforms

Do not transfer money to personal account. Exercise extra caution when making transfer in cryptocurrency

Thoroughly understand the product features and assess information security risks before investing in virtual assets

If in doubt, call the Anti-Scam Helpline 18222 immediately

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