RESIDENTS are being warned to be vigilant of fraudsters who are pretending to offer someone the chance to invest in schemes with the promise of great returns.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) says criminals are carrying out investment fraud in which crooks present an opportunity to people to invest in a variety of schemes or products and say they will receive a large profit.

But these schemes are often worthless or do not exist at all

With coronavirus creating financial challenges for many, GMP is reminding the public to stay alert when thinking of parting with their money, and have issued advice on how to spot an investment scam:

• You’re contacted out of the blue with the investment offer.

• You’re shown glossy brochures, professional-looking websites and certificates that make them look authentic.

• You’re pressured into making rushed decisions with no time to consider the nature of the investment.

The Bolton News:

GMP has also shared information on how to avoid becoming victim:

• Never take up offers of investments on the spot from cold calls. To make safe investments, take a look at the Financial Conduct Authority’s ScamSmart warning list.

• Don’t give your bank account details or sensitive information.

• Fraudsters tend to target people over 65. Talk to elder family members and vulnerable people you care for to make sure they know how to spot bogus investments.

Detective Superintendent Estelle Mathieson, head of GMP’s economic crime and cyber unit, said: "COVID-19 has affected us all in different ways, for some it has brought financial uncertainty and unfortunately it is this vulnerability that fraudsters will look to exploit.

“Our message to the public is to take your time with your money and personal information and don’t let anyone pressure you into making a rushed decision.

"Fraudsters are sophisticated and their investment scams will look like genuine investments with professional-looking websites and documents, so always check the Financial Conduct Authority’s ScamSmart warning list first.

"The @gmpfraud Twitter account also has up-to-date information on scams.

“Anyone who suspects they have been a victim of fraud to report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.”