Partner Maria Theodoulou comments on criminals favouring investment scams over pension thefts.

 

Maria’s comments were published in The i paper, 17 August 2019.

Fraudsters have shifted from stealing pension savings to investment scams, according to police figures.

Reported investment frauds almost doubled in the first half of the year, to 8153, the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has revealed.

Maria Theodoulou commented “Targeting pensioners, particularly those in residential care homes, may once have been seen as easy pickings for fraudsters. However, it is no surprise that fraudsters are focusing on other investment scams and cryptocurrency fraud/theft, rather than stealing a pensioner’s savings.

“Fraudsters may well be aware that sentencing guidelines, effective from October 2014, make the deliberate targeting of victims based on their vulnerability, for example their age and financial circumstances, a serious aggravating feature that increases their level of culpability and the level of harm the fraud caused.

“Many fraudsters will realise that the excitement that surrounds bitcoins will cloud the better judgement of even the most savvy investor. This makes it easier for a fraudster to convince its victims to invest in a cryptocurrency, which arguably has no intrinsic value and which could quite possibly become the biggest Ponzi scheme of the 21st century.”

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