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FCA survey: Over 55s have lost £32 000 on average to investment scam

Mar 02 2017
By
Jonathan Smith

UK's senior citizens, or the people above 55 years of age, to be more precise, have lost an average of £32,000 in 2016 to various financial investment scams, shows a survey of UK's Financial Conduct Authority, published as part of its Scam Smart campaign.

 
The older people are the main target of the scammers, as they are more likely to have money to invest and are less likely to discuss their investment decisions. Hence, the con artists employ the simple tactic of making them a “limited time deal”. 
 
 
According to the survey, more than half (53%) of the over 55s surveyed believed acting quickly can be key to getting a good deal, demonstrating how many could be vulnerable to this tactic. At the same time, a third (34%) said it is best not to discuss investment decisions with others and fewer than half (48%) said they would be likely to seek impartial advice before making an investment. But 45% of the surveyed over 55s said an investment opportunity is more attractive if others have already used it and this is often employed by fraudsters who tell their victims others have already benefited from the offer.
 
 
The FCA survey also found that as a whole the majority of over 55s are aware that getting a call out of the blue with an investment offer could be a certain sign of fraud and only 19% were unaware that being promised returns above the market rate could also be a tactic.  
 
 
The common tactics used by fraudsters include:
 

-Offering lucrative returns above the market rate and downplaying the risks of the investment

-Using flattery to make potential victims feel good, such as praising them for being a knowledgeable investor

- Saying that the deal is only available to the target and asking them to keep it a secret

- Saying that other clients have invested or want in on the deal (known as ‘social proof’)

- Putting them under pressure to invest in a time-limited offer.

 

TAGS: fca  uk  fraud  scam  financial 
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