Investor: look before you leap and avoid fraudsters!

Looking before leaping is rewarded in investing – and healthy suspicion pays off. As a rule of thumb, keep the familiar saying in mind: if an investment tip seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Have you seen tempting ads on the Internet or in chat forums featuring a public figure praising a new investment product? Is the ad accompanied by a seemingly credible news piece about this incredible product? Or has an enthusiastic sales representative called you, gushing about an exceptionally lucrative investment product?

Investment fraudsters are quite professional in what they do. They cleverly design imposter websites, scam email messages and various kinds of direct contact campaigns, promoting fictional returns on investments that often don’t exist. Sometimes, they also post fake news pieces on their imposter websites. These may be very credible-looking and appear as if some well-known news channel has published them.

In reality, however, any invested funds go to the fraudsters, often for the purpose of financing criminal activity. Unfortunately, money paid to fraudsters is rarely recovered.

How can you recognise cases of investment fraud?

Based on uncovered cases, we know that investment scams tend to share some recurring features. Knowing and being aware of them will help you avoid the fraudsters’ lures.

  • Don’t reveal your online bank user identifiers to anyone – your bank, the authorities or any other trustworthy party will never ask for them.
  • Be sceptical about investment products that promise exceptionally good returns and ads, websites and sales representatives marketing them.
  • If a tempting ad bears the logo of a well-known bank or another trustworthy operator, contact their customer service to verify that the product and ad are genuine and not scams exploiting the bank’s or operator’s logo.
  • Before spending money on an investment product, check the details of the company offering it. Make sure that the company has the appropriate licence and isn’t included on the warning list of the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority.

Scams continuously evolve. In the future, we are likely to see more and more so-called ‘deepfake’ videos in which a public figure may appear to promise exceptionally high returns on an investment product. These deepfake videos may look very real, but they aren’t.

So, it pays to be vigilant and sceptical. All is not as it seems in the digital world.

What should I do if I suspect that I have been scammed?

If you suspect that your debit card details or online service user identifiers have fallen into the wrong hands, contact the OP Customer Service immediately on 0100 0500. Outside Customer Service hours, deactivate your user identifiers or card by calling the Deactivation Service on 020 333 (available 24/7). Be sure to also call our Customer Service during service hours to report the incident.

If you suspect that remote access software has been installed on your computer, you should immediately contact the OP Customer Service at 0100 0500. Outside Customer Service hours, deactivate your user identifiers or card by calling the Deactivation Service on 020 333 (available 24/7). Be sure to also call our Customer Service during service hours to report the incident. Have your computer cleaned by a professional before you use your new identifiers on the device.