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New ‘Get Rich Quick’ scheme costs Instagram users over £3 million

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  • The scam primarily targets young people aged between 20 and 30.
  • Since October 2018, there have been 356 reports, with victims losing an average of £8,900 each in such schemes.

Instagram users are being alerted about a new scam that promises users with a high return. The scam dubbed as ‘Get Rich Quick’ primarily targets the young people aged between 20 and 30.

The big picture - Fraudsters are advertising ‘get rich quick’ investment schemes on the social networking app that promises the victims with a high return within 24 hours. For this, an individual has to make an initial investment of £600.

Once the victims make the payment via bank transfer, the fraudsters send a screenshot showing their account has been credited with thousands of pounds as profit. However, when the victims request to withdraw funds from the account, the fraudsters stop contact and close the account.

How widespread is this scam - Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber-crime reporting center of the UK, said that there has been an increase in the number of such investment schemes being advertised on Instagram. Since October 2018, there have been 356 such reports with victims losing an average of £8,900 each.

“Opportunistic fraudsters are taking advantage of unsuspecting victims who are going about their day-to-day lives on social media,” said Inspector Paul Carroll of Action Fraud, Moneywise reported.

How to stay safe - Never respond to any request that asks you to send money for a high-return, unless it is from a trusted source.

  • Always check the credentials of a financial company on the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) website before making any advance payment.
  • Contact the company directly that ask you to make an advance payment or sign a contract on the spot.
  • Reject any offers that come through unsolicited communications.
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