Action Fraud UK are advising people that fraudsters are taking advantage of a rise in popularity of currency exchange online trading schemes with bogus claims of get-rich-quick schemes.

Foreign exchange – or forex for short – trading is a much more simplified version of stock market investments. Punters will stake a ‘call’ or ‘put’ on the price of a currency or market, gambling on whether it will rise or fall. Online trading like this has proved very popular due to the simplicity of the betting, known as binary options trading, and the promise of a quick return or loss on their stake.

Binary options trading is legal, but scammers are using the rise in popularity to promise huge returns with fake success stories to lure in victims that are new to the concept and are led to believe the fraudster will trade using their money. They are posting and messaging victims on Facebook, Instagram and other social media to entice them into investing.

In reality, this is an advance fee fraud. Victims have been told to send money ahead with a promise of huge returns with a cut of the profit, only to be blocked or ignored by the scammer after transferring money.

In some cases victims lose out twice, as they’re told their trading has been successful and are asked to send more money to invest or to send a fee to release the profit they’ve supposedly made.

Avoiding scam stockbrokers

Check their social media profile – a lot of fraudsters will set up fake accounts and their social media activity will look suspicious.

Testimonials might not be genuine. Fraudsters often include fake quotes or photos of others they claim are customers who cashed in. This is to give victims a false sense of confidence in their scheme.

Don’t let a stranger invest your money on your behalf. Legitimate forex trading will let you make the decisions using a programme or app.