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Reports of investment scams have doubled in past year, Citizens Advice finds

Citizens Advice has warned that consumers are increasingly falling victim to scammers posing as professionals from financial and legal services and victims have reported fake websites claiming to offer cryptocurrency investments like Bitcoin. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Citizens Advice has warned that consumers are increasingly falling victim to scammers posing as professionals from financial and legal services and victims have reported fake websites claiming to offer cryptocurrency investments like Bitcoin. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Consumers are increasingly falling victim to scammers posing as professionals from financial and legal services, Citizens Advice has warned.

The charity said it had seen a 6% increase in reports of these scams this financial year at a median loss to victims of £330. They now accounted for a fifth of all scams reported to Citizens Advice’s Consumer Service.

Reported cases of investment scams – such as those involving cryptocurrency, binary option investments and holiday timeshares – had doubled compared with last year, it said.

Victims have reported fake websites claiming to offer cryptocurrency investments like Bitcoin and pretending that household names have endorsed the company, scammers posing as stockbrokers who ask potential investors to place bets on whether phoney shares will rise or fall within a certain date, and criminals who promise to buy back timeshare memberships for an advanced fee.

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