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Over €25 million stolen in investment fraud last year

Gardaí have said over €25 million was stolen in investment fraud last year, a crime which has increased by over 90%.

Almost a thousand people have reported an incident to the gardaí over the past four years, but more than double the number of victims reported in the first two months of this year when compared to last year.

Gardaí issued a warning to people to be particularly careful when considering potential investments.

Investment fraud occurs when criminals pose as investment managers to trick someone into investing money in schemes and projects that do not exist.

Gardaí said that criminals are cloning webpages and targeting victims through online and social media adverts promising “once in a lifetime opportunities” to instantly invest with fast and large financial returns.

Last year, €25,360,000 was reported stolen, almost the same as the combined previous two years’ totals.

In the first two months of this year, over 55 people reported investment fraud, over 965 since January 2020.

Gardaí are advising people not to not to click on links and think before investing

Men are increasingly becoming the victim of the type of fraud, the vast majority are aged over 40.

A man in his 60s lost over €300,000 as he thought that he was investing in a British financial institution, another in his seventies lost €191,000.

A woman in her sixties lost €50,000 in a fraudulent crypto currency investment.

Gardaí are advising people not to disclose personal or bank data, not to click on links, and to take their time and think before investing.

Detective Superintendent Michael Cryan from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau said the fraudsters are sophisticated, persistent and “may purport to be working with a reputable firm and may even quote authorisation numbers or give the real address of a legitimate firm but this is all a coy”.

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