Crypto and forex investment scams triple in a year, costing UK victims £27m

The FCA and Action Fraud have teamed up to warn consumers about cryptoasset and foreign exchange scams, which cost fraud victims more than £27m in the past year

Investment scams involving foreign exchange (forex) and crypto assets more than tripled last year in the UK, costing victims upwards of £27m in 2018/19.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – in partnership with the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, Action Fraud – has issued a warning to members of the public to stay vigilant online and be alert to the actions of fraudsters.

More than 1,800 reports of forex and crypto-related investment scams were made to Action Fraud in the last year, up from 530 in the previous year.

The organisation’s director Pauline Smith said: “These figures are startling and provide a stark warning that people need to be wary of fake investments on online trading platforms.

“It’s vital that people carry out the necessary checks to ensure that an investment they’re considering is legitimate.

“Action Fraud is pleased to be partnering with the FCA to raise awareness of online trading scams, and we hope it will help prevent more people falling victim.”

On average, individuals targeted by these types of scams lost around £14,600 in the last year, after being tricked into “get rich quick” schemes promising high rewards on investment.