The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has issued a warning about investment scams circulating on the internet featuring the likes of Ed Sheeran, Sir Richard Branson and Martin Lewis.
The scammers are apparently luring people into “making bogus investments with fake news articles promoting manufactured investment advice from celebrities”.
The NCSC said scammers are catching their victims through emails and paid-for digital advertisements that link to hoax websites. The sites detail various “get rich quick” schemes that are all fake.
Consumers who visit these sites are then encouraged to invest, with the money actually being sent to cyber criminals.
In just four months, the NCSC has taken down over 300,000 urls linking to these investment scams.
If you spot one, you can report it to the NCSC via email.
Instagram is also being used by conmen for investment scams.
Fraudsters are using the social media platform’s messaging service to approach users with an investment opportunity. They say the money will be used to trade on the stock market or to buy and trade foreign currency, but once the initial investment is transferred over, it’s lost forever.
Action Fraud received 164 reports of these scams in June, with victims losing out on £358,809 in total.