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Over €25 million stolen in investment fraud last year, say gardaí

Gardaí have said over €25 million was stolen in investment fraud last year, a crime which has increased by over 90%.

Almost 1,000 people have reported an investment fraud incident to gardaí over the past four years.

Gardaí issued a warning to people to be particularly careful when considering potential investments.

More than double the number of victims have reported incidents of fraud in the first two months of this year compared to 2023.

Investment fraud occurs when criminals pose as investment managers to trick someone into investing money in schemes and projects that do not exist.

Gardaí said that criminals are cloning web pages and targeting victims through online and social media adverts promising “once-in-a-lifetime opportunities” to instantly invest with fast and large financial returns.

Last year more than €25,360,000 was reported stolen, almost the same as the combined previous two years’ total.

In the first two months of this year over 55 people reported investment fraud, while there have been 965 reported incidents since January 2020.

Men are increasingly becoming the victim of the type of fraud, with the vast majority aged over 40.

A man in his 60s lost over €300,000 as he thought that he was investing in a British financial institution, another in his 70s lost €191,000.

A woman in her 60s lost €50,000 in a fraudulent cryptocurrency investment.

Gardaí are advising people not to disclose personal or bank data, not to click on links, and to take their time and think before investing.

Detective Superintendent Michael Cryan from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau said the fraudsters are sophisticated, persistent and “may purport to be working with a reputable firm and may even quote authorisation numbers or give the real address of a legitimate firm but this is all a coy”.

Article Source – Over €25 million stolen in investment fraud last year, say gardaí – RTE

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