Lockdown fraudsters took £135m from savers through investment scams last year
Fraudsters exploiting lockdown cheated savers out of £135.1million through scams last year.
Criminals used the financial impact caused by the pandemic to lure more unsuspecting victims in 2020, according to figures seen by the Mail, as the amount lost through investment scams climbed 42 per cent compared to 2019.
Thousands fell prey to bogus investment opportunities, with the number of cases rising by 32 per cent to 8,958, the data from the banking industry body UK Finance showed.
Criminals used the financial impact caused by the pandemic to lure in more unsuspecting victims in 2020 as the amount lost through investment scams climbed 42 per cent
The average amount lost per case jumped from £14,000 to £15,000.
Katy Worobec, managing director of economic crime at UK Finance, said: ‘Investment scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated, using cloned websites imitating genuine firms, fake online portals or bogus documents to convince victims to part with more of their cash.’
UK Finance, which is due to release its full fraud report tomorrow, is calling on the Government to include economic crime in the upcoming Online Safety Bill.
This would shift the responsibility on to tech giants such as Google to make sure that tricksters are not promoting scams on its site.
Worobec said: ‘It’s crucial that search engines and social media companies take responsibility for removing fraudulent adverts to stop people losing money to these cruel scams.’