While the cryptocurrency market has continued to grow as an industry, despite its infant stage, bad actors have always continued to pop up from several angles just to prey on the developing ecosystem. Earlier today, BBC reported the increasing crypto fraud in Jersey.
According to the News Outlet, a handful amount of Islanders have fallen victim to cryptocurrency fraudsters over the past months amounting to the total crypto fraud in Jersey to roughly £600,000.
According to the States of Jersey Police’s Joint Financial Crime Unit, over the past three months, scammers had initiated “complex webs of deceit” using adverts and fake social media accounts.
They have contacted many using “high-pressure tactics” to persuade people to give in the investment investing in fake schemes. Investigating officer Faith Shalamon noted, “scammers did not care about victims.”
Jersey’s Financial Watchdog Advises Islanders
To counter and prevent citizens from continuously falling a victim to crypto fraud, the region’s financial watchdog highlighted some notable advice that Islanders should take note of. The States of Jersey Police’s Joint Financial Crime Unit noted, Islanders should “be wary of adverts online promising high returns of investments in crypto assets or crypto asset-related products.”
Additionally, Islanders should “be suspicious if contacted out of the blue about an investment opportunity.” According to investigating officer Ms. Shalamon, the fraudsters begin by targeting all sectors of society and encouraging people to invest life savings in high-risk products without understanding the risks involved.
“They will often discourage their victims from seeking the advice of a third party before investing; they ruin lives and we don’t want anyone else to get caught out by them,” Shalamon stated. The watchdog further mentioned scams would typically begin with “friendly telephone calls, WhatsApp messages and emails” providing “authentic documentation and promising high returns on investments with little to no risk.”
Other advice the watchdog highlighted includes that Islanders should not rush into making an investment as no legitimate person or firm will pressure them into making an investment or committing to something on the spot.
The force referred to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) urging Islanders to check and register for its warning list of firms to avoid. At the end of the note, the Jersey financial watchdog said Islanders should seek advice from trusted friends, family members, or independent professional advice services, or use a financial adviser before investing in online schemes.