The police have busted a wine investment scam that has conned people out of at least £1 million. Three people have been arrested under suspicion of running a fine wine scam aimed at embezzling investors out of their money.
Elderly investors conned
It has been reported that many of the investors who were caught out in the scam are elderly and collectively have lost around £1 million. The suspects have been accused of running the ruse from their base in central London.
Police have stated that victims were repeatedly cold called by salespeople offering the chance to invest in fine wine. They promised returns of between 8 and 40% and seem to have been convincing enough to suck more than a few unlucky investors in.
Latest in series
If the suspects can be proven to be responsible, then this fraud is the latest in a long line of similar. There have been a series of wine investment scams across the UK over recent years, all involving fine wine investment.
As a way to increase their sales, the scammers urged investors to buy extra wine, as buyers were already lined up for them to sell it on to, police say. It’s not clear whether all three of the suspects arrested have been charged as of mid-August.
It’s a kind of fraud termed ‘boiler room’, which describes outbound call centres selling bogus investments via the phone.
Boiler room scams
Andrew Thompson, a detective inspector from the City of London Police, said: “Boiler rooms continue to be a major threat to individuals in this country and statistics show that those who are over 60 are particularly vulnerable to this type of crime
“Fraudsters will do everything they can to manipulate potential victims and convince them that they are making genuine investments.”
So far, 39 victims to this fine wine scam have contacted Action Fraud to complain and the police are contacting others taken in by the fraud.