The Jersey Fraud Prevention Forum (the Forum) is warning islanders to be cautious if they are approached about overseas property and land investment opportunities.
The warning comes alongside another reminder from the island’s financial services regulator to be careful when making or changing investments during the current economic climate. Forum partner, the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) issued a warning last year to investors about looking for alternative investment opportunities to get higher returns.
The Forum can confirm that property and land investments are not covered by financial regulation. Any islander who is approached about these types of investments is encouraged to get independent financial advice before investing to ensure they are aware of all the risks.
Chair of the Forum, Detective Chief Inspector Chris Beechey commented:
“In times of economic uncertainty, such as Covid-19, we unfortunately do see trends of increases in frauds and scams. We want all islanders to be informed, smart and safe when they make decisions about their money and their future. Reducing the risk of the public losing money is a key responsibility for the JFSC and the Forum. It is critical that residents understand the potential risks, as well as the opportunities, involved in making investment decisions. We ask islanders to always question carefully whether an investment recommendation is actually in their best interests and to remember that if something looks too good to be true it usually is.”
The Forum recommends these steps to help make informed investment decisions:
- Do not hesitate to ask more questions if you need more clarity and be sure to read the small print
- Only invest if you fully understand what you are investing in and what the risks are
- Consider what a significant loss of money would mean to you if the investment fails
- Do not be rushed; always be aware of pushy sales tactics
- Do appropriate checks on any opportunities and get professional advice
- Think carefully before you make any decisions with your money, as once you’ve transferred it to scammers it will be difficult, if not impossible, to recover.
If you think you are a victim of a fraud or scam, contact the States of Jersey Police: 01534 612612