Police issue scam warning

PUBLISHED: 09:54 23 January 2013 | UPDATED: 10:24 23 January 2013


Five victims of the national scam are believed to be from the Devon and Cornwall area.

Devon and Cornwall Police has issued a warning to the public regarding a national scam involving investment in rare earth metals.

As part of the scam victims receive a ‘cold call’ and are then persuaded to invest substantial amounts of money in rare earth metal oxides.

Police say the victims tend to be elderly and contact is usually made by telephone and following pressurised selling, considerable amounts of personal savings are deposited into seemingly bone fide company bank accounts in the hope of a future substantial return, which never materialises.

Nationally, the fraud totals millions of pounds, and the number of victims falls into thousands with five victims identified in Devon & Cornwall.

Detective Sergeant Mark Newnham said: “The extent of this scam is huge and anyone could become a victim of persistent fraudsters.

“Although, there are bone fide companies who deal legitimately in metal investments this particular fraud involves investment in very poor valued or worthless commodities.

“Genuine companies do not ‘cold call’ and use intimidating and persuasive tactics and I would urge anyone who is contacted out of the blue regarding such investments to think very carefully.

“Do not agree to invest on a whim without making basic checks into the company”.

The scam is being investigated by The City of London Police.

Police are urging victims of this fraud to contact Fraud Action on 0300 123 2040 or report it online by emailing action.fraud@nfa.gsi.gov.uk

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