The Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) is promoting customer awareness of frauds and scams as part of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions’ (IOSCO) World Investor Week 2021.

Fraudsters typically promise high returns to entice investments in their scams. Once interest is shown, fraudsters change the initial prices on their website, trap investors with extreme pay-out clauses or cut contact and refuse to provide refunds.

The GFSC’s Regulatory Investigations team deals with firms purporting to be legitimate financial services firms and found that so far in 2021, 55% of unauthorised business activity was committed through suspected clone websites.

Sean Byrne, Head of Regulatory Investigations said: “Clone websites are set up by scammers that imitate real, legitimate companies using similar (or even the same) names and company information, usually mimicking the real website to deceive you into making investments. These clone firm websites often appear at the top of search engine pages, as scammers will pay to grab your attention. Please be careful and satisfy yourself you are dealing with a real firm before you invest.”

With growing scepticism on investment-related cold calls, fraudsters are now promoting themselves online through websites and social media. Customer reviews that appear on these online platforms are not evidence of a reputable entity as scammers are known to create professional looking platforms that feature fake…

Read more…