Beware: crypto crime at all-time high

CryptoStephen Barry shares recently released findings into the rate of cryptocurrency fraud and steps you can take to keep hard-earned savings safe.

The rise of cryptocurrency

For those who may be novice to this new-age method of investing, cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency, using cryptography to secure transactions.

As of February 2022, 9.8 million Brits owned cryptocurrency. It is however, growing exponentially from 1.5 million in 2018.

There has been a lot of hype in the media about this type of investing, often touted as the ‘get rich quick’ strategy. There is the potential for high rewards due to their tendency to suddenly spike in value. However, this also means that the drops are also significant and can occur equally suddenly.

Investors generally consider cryptocurrencies as high-risk investments due to them having no regulation by official bodies such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Investors have no protection should the platform invested in go out of business for example.

There is a growing concern from the FCA that new investors are increasingly accessing higher-risk investments such as cryptocurrency. This may not be right for them, or reflect their risk tolerance.

Any investment you consider has the potential to lose or gain value. And you may get back less than you initially invest. Therefore ensure any investment you undertake is in line with your risk appetite and won’t leave you in financial difficulty should they not perform favourably.

What is cryptocurrency fraud?

The type of fraud that you need to be aware of as an investor comes in the guise of fraudulent investment or business opportunities.

Action Fraud has highlighted the common tactics, which also include the use of social media and fake celebrity endorsements to advertise fraudulent investment opportunities. The adverts are designed to lure you in with the promise of high returns over short investment periods. These fraudsters then extract your money or personal information.

According to a recent report, crypto investment fraud was up 64% in 2021 from the previous year. So this is definitely something to check ahead of choosing to invest.

What steps can you take to protect yourself?

Follow the old mantra: ‘If it looks to good to be true, it probably is’.

If an investment opportunity presents as a guarantee that you’ll make money, it’s a red flag. When it comes to investing, no legitimate firm will downplay the likelihood of losing money. It is not standard practice. Also, any opportunities that try to rush or pressure you into making a decision are a cause for concern.

Make sure you are dealing with authorised firms or check the FCA warning list ahead of making an investment commitment.

To help you confidently make investment decisions, speak to someone you can trust. Speak to someone who has genuine experience and knowledge of investing.

While speaking to a trusted friend or family member or taking time to do research is better than making significant investment decisions with no guidance, it still pays to seek help from credible professionals.

Speak to a specialist

At Wesleyan Financial Services, we have a team of specialist dental financial advisers. They understand your career, the financial support and protection needed to help keep your finances stable.

You can book a no-obligation financial review with us by visiting or calling 0800 316 3784.

Remember: the value of investments and any income can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invest.

Advice is provided by Wesleyan Financial Services Ltd.

‘Wesleyan’ is a trading name of the Wesleyan Group of companies.

Wesleyan Financial Services Ltd (Registered in England and Wales No. 1651212) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is wholly owned by Wesleyan Assurance Society. Wesleyan Assurance Society is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Incorporated in England and Wales by Private Act of Parliament (No. ZC145). Registered Office: Colmore Circus, Birmingham B4 6AR. Telephone: 0345 351 2352. Fax: 0121 200 2971. Calls may be recorded to help us provide, monitor and improve our services to you.

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