AN Inverclyde man who put £26,000 into a fake investment company is ‘unlikely’ to get the money back.
Police have highlighted the case as part of a new financial harm awareness campaign.
The victim had been searching online sites for the best way to invest his money and was contacted directly on the telephone by a fraudster pretending to be from a legitimate investment company.
Police state: “Over the next few months the man invested £26,000 with what he believed to be a respectable company.
“Later, as the man began to check up on his investments, he discovered that the previous payments were not showing. When he tried to contact the company, he was unable to get hold of them.
“After contacting the Financial Conduct Authority, it was confirmed that the company had been cloned.
“His bank are currently investigating the incident but he is unlikely to get his money back. Investment scams are the most profitable form of cybercrime affecting Scotland.”
Information on how to avoid investment scams is available on the Financial Conduct Authority website.
Detective Superintendent Gerry McBride, Head of Crime Investigation in Renfrewshire and Inverclyde said: “During the last year we have seen a marked increase in online and telephone-based financial crime as more people than ever head online to do their banking, shopping and communicate with their families and loved ones.
“Unfortunately, the number of criminals operating online or by telephone has also increased, as have their methods of seeking to financially exploit people in a variety of new and convincing ways.”