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Crime Prevention: Fraud Awareness

The RCIPS Financial Crime Investigation Unit has identified a recent increase in financial scams and fraudulent activity. The RCIPS is reminding the public to be vigilant in order to avoid falling victim, particularly to “get rich quick” investment schemes, promising a substantial financial return. For example:


Standard Investment Fraud

Takes the form of a traditional Ponzi scheme promising quick, significant returns for relatively low investment, utilising:

-Cold calls on the telephone

-Unsolicited emails and marketing

-Referrals by friends or contacts adding legitimacy

-Fictitious payment service provider to take credit card payments


Fraud Involving Cryptocurrency and Social Media – Pig Butchering

Criminals lure victims into digital relationships to build trust before convincing them to invest in cryptocurrency investment platforms. Take the form of romance or confidence scams via:

-Enticing victims to engage with scammers via YouTube comments section

-Dating apps involving approaches from seemingly successful overseas suitors

-Direct and unsolicited messages on Instagram inviting opportunities

-Facebook messaging

-LinkedIn messaging with a ‘professional’ contact of someone known to the victim


Business Email Compromise

Criminals generally will send email messages appearing to be from a known source making a legitimate request. Other types of activity include:

-Spoofing of email accounts and/or websites using slight variations on legitimate addresses.

-Spearphishing or Phishing emails that look like they’re from a trusted sender, tricking victims into revealing confidential information.

-Use of malware or malicious software to infiltrate business networks, gaining access to legitimate email threads, victim data and financial account data.


Account Takeover or Compromise Fraud

Form of identity theft involving the use of stolen credentials, such as log in details. Modification of security or personal identifier information to allow continued access. Initial access via:

-Victim unwittingly clicking on rogue link sent via email or website ‘pop-ups’

-Remote desktop screenshare platforms such as TeamViewer, Screenleap etc allowing fraudsters to access or replicate computer activity.


Credit/Debit Card Scams

Often card details only, not the physical card, are taken. Having the physical card in your possession is therefore no guarantee that you are not a victim of credit/debit card theft.

These details can be obtained by:

-Victim sharing card details or PIN with others.

-Persons removing card from victim's sight when they are making payments.

-Victim making payments with card via phone. Not opting to do so through secure recognizable platforms.

-Victim responding to unexpected emails or texts purporting to be from a bank, and providing card ingormation to the "bank."

Monitor your account for payments you don’t recognize. If possible, take advantage of transaction alerts provided through email or a bank approved app.

If you see a card payment you do not recognize, report it immediately to your bank.


Members of the public should be wary of anyone requesting sensitive information, or transfer of funds, via email, SMS or social media platforms and confirmation should be sought.  Financial institutions will never ask for account or personal information to be shared via email or text message.

Anyone who believes they may be a victim of a financial crime is encouraged to contact the Financial Crime Investigation Unit at RCIPS.FCU@rcips.ky or 949-8797.