What does prime bank guarantee fraud involve?
Fraudsters invite you to join a scheme that will make you rich quickly through bank guarantees. They tell you they can buy the bank guarantees at a discount and sell them shortly afterwards at an enormous premium. By investing a large sum in their scheme, you will make a big profit.
How does prime bank guarantee fraud affect me?
The fraudsters tell you that you will be part of a group of extremely rich investors. They may tell you not to seek professional advice because the information is reserved only for those taking part in the programme and the scheme is by invitation only.
The fraudsters may also tell you that you could be thrown out of the scheme and taken to court if you seek independent advice. You might be informed that even the wellknown banks listed on the documents can’t discuss the deal unless you are a main investor.
The fraudsters will try to make the scheme appear legal by giving you documents that appear complex, sophisticated and official. They may falsely tell you all your funds will be secured by a letter of credit, a bank-endorsed guarantee or another guaranteed certificate supported by the world’s major banks. Or they may tell you that the scheme is risk-free or sanctioned by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
However, once you part with your money, it disappears along with the investment company.
What should I do?
- Be aware that foreign banks do use bank guarantees, but they are never sold or traded on any kind of market
- Remember: if something seems too good to be true, it usually is
- Bear in mind that that there's no such thing as a high-return, risk-free investment
- Always make sure you fully understand how the investment works. Challenge what you're told. Investigate the investment company and its claims. Is it registered in the country where it claims to be based? Who are the directors? How exactly does the investment company claim to make its money? Can you withdraw your money easily and quickly?
- Have everything checked by an independent professional financialadvisor, an accountant or financial advisor. Take legal documents to a lawyer before signing them
- Do not be pressured into signing a contract at a presentation
- Make sure you know the legal and tax rules associated with offshore investments
- Think carefully before investing any of your money. Make absolutely certain the company you're dealing with is legitimate.
If you think you have been a victim of a prime bank guarantee fraud, contact the police and the Financial Conduct Authority.