Investment fraud and scams are on the rise and criminals are sadly exploiting the surge in popularity and excitement around crypto to target unsuspicious would-be investors.
That’s why at Take Five to Stop Fraud, a national fraud awareness campaign led by UK Finance, we have joined forces with Crypto UK to warn of the signs and help people protect themselves from financial fraud.
Take Five to Stop Fraud offers straightforward and impartial advice to help everyone protect themselves from preventable financial fraud. It is supported by law enforcement, banks and financial providers, and a wide range of other trusted organisations.
We know that criminals are always looking for the next lucrative opportunity. Search trend analysis, conducted for the Take Five campaign, helps to illustrate the surge in interest in crypto investments. In May 2021 there was a ten-fold increase in UK Google searches for the phrase ‘invest in crypto’. Year-on-year searches rose from 25,210 (May 2020) to 340,460 (May 2021), and this is just the type of interest that criminals seek to exploit, as they have done and continue to do over the years.
For the team at Take Five to Stop Fraud, as the experts in advising consumers and businesses how to avoid and stay safe from fraud and scams, we want to get the message out that criminals are exploiting this surge in popularity but most importantly that there are clear actions we can all take to prevent this.
A key part of tackling this threat, is to empower would be investors to spot and avoid fraud; the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign has psychological insights and behaviour change theory built into it, to support its mission.
We’ve worked together closely to highlight the key advice and red flags to watch out for here.