UK: Scams Using Fake Affiliate Marketing on Social Media Platforms Are Rising

Joanna Bailey an associate in Giambrone’s banking and finance team was interviewed by Mobeen Azhar for the BBC’s four-part series called “In Scam City: Money, Mayhem and Maseratis” which examines how investors are duped into invention large sums of money after being approached on WhatsApp groups by unlicensed and unregulated “so-called” traders that are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Low-level social media influencers are being paid to promote fraudulent brokers schemes, known as affiliate marketing, involving being paid a fee for putting business in the hands of the brokers. Displays of wealth such as flashy cars, awatches, designer clothes and being photographed at luxurious restaurants and hotels persuade the target market into thinking that the individual has made considerable amounts of easy money by investing with a particular broker. The plausible pitches by individuals familiar to them and are of the same generation, the novice investors are persuaded that they too can capitalise on the high returns.

Joanna Bailey commented “there is another aspect to “affiliate marketing” where individuals with a high media profile are being used in the promotion and validation of scams without their knowledge, The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) removed more than 730,000 websites promoting fake endorsements” Joanna further remarked, “these types of scams persuade people that they can make unrealistic returns on their investment which they actually believe, due to the celebrity endorsement”.

Martin Lewis the financial journalist and Sir Richard Branson are the most frequently used names in fake celebrity endorsement according to Ian Levy, the NCSC's technical director. Their reputation of trust is used by the fraudsters to deceive their victims. The highly experienced lawyers in Giambrone’s banking and financial team always advise the utmost caution before considering investing in any scheme, particularly if you have no experience in investment markets. Novice investors should check The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register of legitimate organisations sanctioned by the FCA as well as the page listing warnings on unregulated brokers. There is also a page providing guidance and information about misleading financial promotions and how to recognise the fake from the genuine and how to report an organisation you suspect is irregular and misleading.

If you suspect that you have invested in a fraudulent scheme Giambrone’s banking and financial team can advise and guide you. Giambrone has developed strategies to assist investors that have been duped. Our lawyers have a well-deserved track record of recovery of our clients’ money.

By Giambrone, England
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Joanna Bailey is an associate advising English and International clients on general commercial litigation matters, litigation against financial institutions, Forex/binary trading disputes and regulatory investigations.
She has acted and advised in disputes for clients ranging from shareholder and other commercial disputes, professional negligence, negligent misrepresentation and fraud, asset tracing and recovery, freezing orders and other injunctions and interim remedies, international/conflict of laws and human rights.
Joanna is experienced in high value out-of-court settlement negotiations and has an in-depth knowledge of the Civil Procedure Rules as well as English common law.
Prior to joining Giambrone, Joanna acquired invaluable experience working on a range of legal matters over the last 15 years from criminal litigation to costs proceedings.

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Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws they may affect a case. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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