COVID-19 - Investment fraud: more than ever, prudence is essential!


Fraudsters are not hesitating to exploit the current COVID-19 situation. Beware, since the current climate is particularly propitious for these swindlers to create more victims.

With the confinement order, consumers are more exposed than ever to canvassing by fraudulent actors (emails, advertisements on the internet and social media, cold calling, etc.) whose speciality is to make promises that are too good to be true.

Given the effects of the coronavirus on the financial markets, 'miracle' investments that the fraudsters present as an alternative to 'traditional' investments may attract numerous would-be investors.

Over the coming months, the FSMA has already published several warnings against fake investments in vintage wine and whisky, in cryptocurrencies, in the field of energy, real estate investments (notably in parking lots), etc. These very different investments are all sold as so-called 'safe investments'.

Underlying these fraudulent offers is often the same mechanism: after having gained confidence with smooth talk, self-confident interlocutors and an online platform that looks very professional, consumers who have invested in these schemes find themselves unable to recover their investment (nor any alleged profit, of course), and communication with the fraudsters is suddenly cut off.

It is also possible that fraudsters may contact you to offer fake investments in the health sector and in research on COVID-19, or even to offer fake loans relating to the current crisis.