Scammers are targeting investors through Facebook with foreign exchange (forex) trading schemes that promise impossibly high returns.
These 'brokers' are taking advantage of the rising popularity of currency exchange online trading schemes to lure victims in with fake success stories, making them believe the fraudster will trade using their money.
Victims are then told to send money after being promised huge returns, only to be blocked or ignored by the scammer after transferring money.
Facebook users that are new to foreign exchange trading are particularly vulnerable to posts and messages through the social networking site.
In the worst cases victims lose out twice. They’re told their trading has been successful and are asked to send even more money to invest or to send a fee to release the profits they’ve allegedly made.
It’s not just posts and messages on Facebook either; tricksters are using Instagram and other social media to dupe unwitting victims.
How to avoid scam stockbrokers
If a stranger messages you on Facebook claiming to have inside information on forex, don’t reply to them – send the message on to Action Fraud.
Try and identify the fraduster by checking their social media profile – a lot of scammers will set up fake account and their social media activity will look pretty dodgy. Their testimonials probably aren't genuine either. It’s easy for fraudsters to include fake quotes or photos of other random people who ‘cashed in’ on this investment scheme.
Whatever happens, never pay to invest in forex trading using a bank or money transfer such as MoneyGram or Western Union and don’t let a stranger invest money on your behalf.
Remember that legitimate brokers don’t use social media to offer investments - why would they want to give away inside secrets if they’re so successful?