Police warning over 'worthless' investment fraud scam
Police are warning the public regarding a national scam involving investment in rare earth metals.
Devon & Cornwall police have recently become aware of a fraud whereby following a ‘cold call’ victims are persuaded to invest substantial amounts of money in rare earth metal oxides.
The investment potential is either hugely exaggerated or it involves a worthless commodity.
The victim tends to be elderly and contact is usually made by telephone and following pressurised selling, considerable amounts of personal savings are deposited into seemingly bona fide company bank accounts in the hope of a future substantial return, which in fact never materialises.
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Nationally, the fraud totals millions of pounds, and the number of victims falls into thousands with five victims identified in Devon & Cornwall.
The investigation into this scam currently sits with The City of London Police but due to the national extent of the fraud with local identified victims the force’s Financial Investigation Team is warning the public to be aware.
Detective Sergeant Mark Newnham commented, “The extent of this scam is huge and anyone could become a victim of persistent fraudsters.
“Although there are bone fide companies who deal legitimately in metal investments this particular fraud involves investment in very poor valued or worthless commodities.
Genuine companies do not ‘cold call’ and use intimidating and persuasive tactics and I would urge anyone who is contacted out of the blue regarding such investments to think very carefully. Do not agree to invest on a whim without making basic checks into the company”.
Additionally if you think that you have been a victim of this fraud then please contact Fraud Action on 0300 123 2040 or report online at firstname.lastname@example.org