Investment Scams

Investment Scams
Investment scams are one of the many ways criminals try and access your funds. These scams are becoming increasingly common and can take a variety of forms. It is important you know how to spot them.

Some types of investment scams

Different types of investment scams

There are different types of investment scams. Some of these are explained below.

Types of investment scams row 1

This type of scam is where fraudsters offer fake cryptocurrency investments that don’t really exist or are worth very little.

A cloned firm investment scam is where a fraudster might trick you into making false investments by impersonating a financial services firm.

A fraudster might get in touch in an effort to assist you in the recovery of your lost funds in exchange for a fee.

Cryptocurrency scams

  Cryptocurrency scams

This is where a scammer capitalises on the growing attention cryptocurrency is attracting, by offering fake investments that don’t really exist or aren’t worth the money they claim to be worth. 

What is cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that typically exists electronically. Cryptocurrency can be purchased by phone, computer, or a cryptocurrency ATM. There are multiple cryptocurrencies, with new types being created regularly, and they typically use a technology called 'blockchain'.

Blockchain is a cryptocurrency financial services company, a decentralised technology spread across many computers that manages and records transactions. It is a digital ledger or database where encrypted blocks of digital asset data are stored and chained together, forming a chronological single-source-of-truth for the data. On the Blockchain, digital assets are distributed, not copied nor transferred. The currency is unregulated, and not protected by the Central Bank of Ireland’s deposit guarantee scheme. Despite the associated risks and unpredictability of cryptocurrency, it is a lucrative investment option worldwide. Currency exchange platforms are websites where you can buy and sell and exchange cryptocurrencies for digital currencies or traditional currencies such as the Euro, the American Dollar or British Pound.


How the scam works

Fraudsters promote fake investment opportunities in part through advertising on social media platforms, for example. Often they’ll have a celebrity-like image associated with the advert, giving off the impression that the person photographed is recommending the product/investment. The individuals and/or companies operating such scams are typically based overseas.

The fraudster might ask that you click on a URL link in order to commence the investment process. Investing could take place in two ways, either through an existing cryptocurrency wallet, or the exchange of traditional currencies. The fraudster might then suggest opening an account for you within the company where you might be asked for personal information.

Under these circumstances, Avant Money would urge you not to provide any of your personal information such as a photo ID, proof of address etc. without verifying the legitimacy of the company beforehand. If you invest your funds, you, the investor is the sole person who should have control of that cryptocurrency wallet. Nobody else should have access. If you didn’t set up a wallet or are unable to access the money in your wallet, it is likely to have been a scam. You should cease making payments right away and get in touch with us directly. Before making investments using cryptocurrency, ensure that you understand the full process, and the possibility of losing the funds should you authorise a transaction with a currency exchange to which your funds are deposited into.

Cloned firm investment scams

 Cloned Firm Investment Scams

A cloned firm investment scam is where a fraudster might trick you into making false investments by impersonating a financial services firm. This activity is typically done over the phone, email, online, or by mail. The fraudster might host a fake site that mocks an original company website so as not to raise any eyebrows when seeking your business. The fraudster might try and develop a relationship with you before any “investments” are made, in part to learn more about your personal information and financial wealth.


Check-list to ensure you’re not investing your wealth with a fraudster:

• Always check the company or person you are dealing with is registered with the Central Bank of Ireland.

• Check they are registered with the Companies Registration Office (CRO).

• Ensure they have the permission for the regulated activities they’re providing.

• Only use the contact details on the register to ensure you’re doing business with a genuine company.

It’s a good idea to conduct research before investing any of your wealth to ensure you’re familiar with the company, processes and people you’re investing with and that they are legitimate.

Get your money back scams 2

  •  'Get your money back' scams

    A fraudster might get in touch in an effort to assist you in the recovery of your lost funds in exchange for a fee.

    Avant Money recommends not interacting with anyone who contacts you unsolicited about a fraud you fell victim to as without direct involvement in the fraudulent activity they are unlikely to know anything about it.

What do I need to know about investment scams?

Do your research beforehand

If you’re considering an investment opportunity, please be sure to first confirm the firm is regulated to determine if the company or individual is appropriately authorised to operate as an investment firm. The list of authorised investment firms is available at . The Central Bank of Ireland can also be contacted about such companies on (01) 224 4000.

Please visit the Central Bank of Ireland’s regulated financial service providers/collective investment schemes listing. A list of all warning notices issued to date on unauthorised investment firms is also available on the website: Warnings and Alerts | Central Bank of Ireland. It could save you and your investment, if you spot a scam before it is too late.