Investment fraud

Financially investing in something always involves a risk, but misleading someone to invest in, for example, companies, securities, currency or commodities that do not exist or have no value is a crime and is called investment fraud.

Investment fraud - how to protect yourself

If an investment seems too good to be true, it probably is – find out the facts and avoid being scammed! If you become interested in an offer, make sure that:

  • Find out the facts – do you understand the service and does the offer seem reasonable?
  • Be critical of sources on the internet, it is easy to post a fake news article.
  • Check with the Financial Supervisory Authority that the company exists and has the necessary permits and registrations.
  • Check that the company is not on the FIN-FSA's warning list.
  • Never accept that someone takes control of your computer through a remote control program.
  • An investment scam can involve investments in mutual funds, stocks, metals and gemstones, as well as cryptocurrencies.

If you have been subjected to

  • Contact your bank directly. If a transaction has just been completed, the bank may have the option to stop it.
  • Report to the police.
  • Get help and support from people around you. You can also contact Victim Support Sweden.
  • Break off all contact, even with people who claim they can help you get your money back.

How investment fraud can happen

An investment scam often starts with the victim registering on a website to take part in an offer advertised on social media and on the internet. Often, these are fake news articles about Bitcoin investments or tools to optimize Bitcoin trading.

The person who registers is quickly called by an advisor who persuades the person to start an account and transfer a starting amount of approximately SEK 2500. It also happens that people are called by advisors who offer investment arrangements directly.

Investment scams can last for a long time where the person is misled into repeatedly investing large amounts. There are also examples where the fraudster has persuaded the victim to install a remote control program to show how the investment should be made. In fact, the fraudster takes over the computer, makes illegal transfers and takes out loans in the victim's identity.

A victim of investment fraud can in some cases be contacted by someone who offers help to get their money back. This is also a fraud, as the victim is asked to pay a fee to get help – without help coming.

An investment fraud can involve three distinct phases:

  1. The sales phase - an offer of a "promising" investment
  2. The buy-back phase - a fraud with various fictitious fees
  3. The rescue phase - a false offer of help when the victim understands the fraud.

Read more:

Finansinspektionen on investment fraud