Financial scams warning

18 August 2004
The government has warned the public of the risk of trusting offers to get-rich-quick as a large variety of scams are currently doing the rounds.

Despite recent publicity, many investors are still falling foul to an array of sophisticated scams.

Over the past months the DTI's Companies Investigations Branch has cracked down on a number of scammers, with many now facing prosecution, their assets seized and their activities publicised in the local and national press.

Current scams include companies that are: running "get rich quick" property schemes - advertising individual plots of agricultural land in areas where there is virtually no development potential; offering the chance to make a profit from buying up debts; and charging for unsolicited office consumables, such as printers.

"Last financial year we successfully wound up 371 companies, typically for fraudulent trading," said consumer affairs minister Gerry Sutcliffe.

"But it is a sad fact that the scams and rip-off money-making schemes continue to resurface in a number of different guises, usually taking advantage of people's good nature or desire to make a bit of money."

Warning the fraudsters, he added: "Anyone out to rip off people through dodgy business practices may think they'll get away with it, but they won't."
© DeHavilland Information Services plc