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Cryptocurrency scams lose thousands of pounds for North Yorkshire residents

Last modified: 24 September 2020 at 02:34pm

Police warning to make careful checks before considering any investment opportunities

North Yorkshire Police is issuing a stark warning to anyone considering investing in cryptocurrency, after incidents in the county have resulted in nearly £300,000 being lost to scammers.

Individuals claiming to be working for investment trading companies have offered to invest in bitcoin on the victim’s behalf, when in reality the money is stolen with little chance of it being returned.

Victims have been asked to download so-called trading software and remote access software which appears to show substantial financial gains from the investments. This is false and simply a way of gaining access to the victim’s computer and in some cases, their bank accounts too.

Detective Inspector Jon Hodgeon leads North Yorkshire Police’s Economic Crime Unit and has the following advice:

“These fraudsters have used high pressure sales techniques to try and convince their victims to invest quickly and without doing their research. They will nearly always insist on using remote access software to access and control the victim’s computer but you should never let anyone gain remote access or install software on your devices unless they are a member of IT staff in a corporate network – for example, your employer.

“The world of cryptocurrency investments is a complex and dangerous one to be part of unless you are highly experienced and skilled in knowing what you are doing. If you are considering investing in this area then I’d urge you to check the FCA Register of Authorised Crypto Asset Providers in the UK and also check their list of unauthorised companies.

“It’s also prudent to seek independent financial advice before making an sizeable investments as this is a prime area for scammers to target unsuspecting victims.”

If you’re considering an investment opportunity:

  • Check the company on the FCA’s warning list: https://www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart/warning-list
  • Never make a decision under pressure from a trader or seller, take your time and seek advice before going any further.
  • Never allow anyone to gain remote access to your computer or any other digital devices unless they are a member of IT staff in a trusted corporate network.
  • If you’re thinking about investing in cryptocurrency, check the FCA’s register of authorised Crypto Asset Providers: https://register.fca.org.uk/s/
  • Seek independent financial advice about any investment opportunity you are offered and be particularly wary if the offering is made by a stranger seemingly out of the blue.
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