Mark Kenkre, Partner at Keller Lenkner UK, explains how big tech platforms have sped up investment fraud in recent years.
Social media companies are coming under pressure to do more to protect users from investment fraud. Action Fraud has reported that £63 million was lost to such crimes in the past year, prompting calls for tightened regulation.
Superintendent Sanjay Andersen of the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau said, “Reports of investment fraud have increased significantly since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, which is unsurprising when you think the vast majority of us have had to conduct nearly every aspect of our lives on a computer or mobile phone. Being online more means criminals have a greater opportunity to approach unsuspecting victims with their scams.”
Action Fraud has reported that in a 12 month period, 5,039 reports of investment fraud referenced a social media platform, with 44.7 percent of such reports relating to cryptocurrency scams. Instagram was referenced in 35.2 percent of reports, followed by Facebook, which was mentioned in 18.4 percent of investment fraud cases.
Some victims were approached individually through platforms, while others were taken in by fake or misleading ads. In some cases, fraudsters created realistic cloned websites to give an impression of legitimacy or pretended to be endorsed by a celebrity. The Office of National Statistics reported a 44 percent increase in overall…