UK’s Companies House lacks safeguards to identify investment scams
To prove how easy it is for anyone to launch a scam site, the Global Anti Scam Alliance and ScamAdviser launched ‘ScamAdviser Coin’ in the lead-up to April Fool’s Day 2023. The goal of this campaign was to highlight the importance of forming better policies to combat scammers.
Last year, nearly 300 million consumers lost more than $55 billion, according to the Global State of Scams 2022 report. Especially, investment scams continued to rise, caused by digitalization, high inflation, and the increasing cost of living.
Within a matter of days, a website was set up that promised investors 100% returns in 14 days. Setting up the site was just $250, including purchasing a website template, registering the domain name ‘scamadviser.club’ and purchasing website hosting.
UK’s Companies House lacks a Due Diligence process
To create a sense of trust, a fictitious company named ‘ScamAdviser Coin Limited’ was registered in the UK’s Companies House Registry, using as Directors names the notorious fraudsters Charles Ponzi and Bernard Madoff for just $15.
This is possible as the Companies House itself states, “Companies House does not verify the accuracy of the information filed”. However, few, if any, people know that Companies House does not do any due diligence. Many people, especially from abroad, believe that if a company is registered in the United Kingdom, it must be legit.
Promoting the Scam on Facebook and Google
The fake investment website was even advertised on Facebook for a brief period before being reported by users. The ads were disapproved by Google’s search engine advertising platform, citing their policies regarding ‘Unacceptable business practices’.
Several ‘experts’ on a popular freelancing platform offered to help advertise the scheme on Facebook and Google. Their advice: You need to “warm up” a Google Adword or Facebook account. After three weeks and not using specific keywords like “coin”, it’s easy to promote any kind of investment scam.
The Result: $11,000 earned in 10 days
ScamAdviser Coin only has been up for 10 days. Many could not spot the signs of a scam as 144 users signed up to join the waitlist for the program, which was supposedly set to launch on 1 April 2023. With the users pledging to invest a total of $11,010, the scheme would have generated an ROI of 4400% for the scammer.
Jorij Abraham, General Manager of GASA, said regarding the campaign, “For only $250, you can not only set up an investment scam but also a legitimate-looking company. The way Companies House operates is hurting consumers. Many believe that a company registered in the UK must be trustworthy. Instead, it seems to be the opposite.”
About the Global Anti Scam Alliance
Our mission is to protect consumers worldwide from scams by raising awareness and facilitating knowledge sharing. The full article can be found on ScamAdviser ( https://pr.report/CEG9N2Wu) and GASA ( https://pr.report/cZbHvWtd ).
SOURCE: Global Anti Scam Alliance