Wilsons Detectives – Case Study – Investment Fraud
The Fraud Wilsons were contacted by client, Andrew. He had made a large investment into an ACCFX MAM FX trade account and subsequently requested a full refund that he was initially told was in the process of being organised. Our client was asked for a fee that would unlock the full refund. The investment had been a major chuck of our client’s savings, so he paid the fee - then communication dried up completely. Our client and his family were thrown into crisis. This investment had been earmarked for so much. from educating children to a comfortable retirement and the family were in despair. They were wiped out. with just enough money for day-to-day living. Andrew called us, desperate for help.
The Analysis At Wilsons the first step is always to circulate the details of the fraud to see if any of our expert investigators recognise its particular features. In this case some similarities to other cases we are working currently and others we had completed, were identified. A familiar theme was the multiple delaying tactics the scammers used to delay the victim realising the reality of the situation and taking action. This gives the scammer the advantage of elapsing time. Wilsons Detectives is one of the larger firms investigating cyber blackmail and fraud and we have made a study of many different types of scams.
The Investigation Our initial analysis confirmed that Andrew had been a victim of fraud. The objectives, as always in these cases, were to find the true location and identity of the scammers, and Wilsons are very practised at this. The client revealed that his Sterling amount involved in his ACCFX investment had initially been £250,000 rising to a total of around £285,000 with profits. The client told us that he started at much smaller level and then in December 2018 made a large investment that brought his cost basis up. He also had a smaller separate account that had a total cost basis of £10,000 that brought the total cost basis invested between the two accounts to £295,000. The client told us that his decision to invest to this level was made because the company had a Bank Guarantee system in place that assured that once a client reached £250,000 the amount was bank guaranteed. Prior to that level, deposit insurance on investments over £50,000 would be given.
Andrew told us that he did not receive the Bank Guarantee and was told that there had been a liquidity run so that his bank guarantee had not been completed quite yet, giving our client the impression that it was imminent. The deposit insurance documents looked official with official stamps on the documents along with the signature of each official, appearing to be very legitimate. The client felt very humiliated that he had been fooled, but these documents were very convincing.
The Detail The governing authority for the location of ACCFX offices in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is the Financial Services Authority of Saint Vincent and The Grenadines. Andrew’s insurance document had a stamp from the FSA with an official signature as well. The signatures and stamps and entire insurance process may be part of the scam "Ponzi Scheme", however, Allied Capital Markets Ltd. (ACCFX) is a FOREX broker and Andrew’s account was set up through ACCFX and placed into a MAM account supposedly trading as FOREX ARBITRAGE. All funds sent into this investment were done in BITCOIN, NOT by wire transfer.
The On-going case All orders are dealt with initially from Manila and London and we then allocate to our research/planning in readiness for investigations or surveillance professionals in the relevant location. In Andrew’s case I also asked London to ‘reach-out’ for geographical convenience. I reassured Andrew that we would always aim to recover the investment amount, plus costs. I also informed him that our fees reflect the complexity and longevity of the case and that Wilson’s will not take a percentage of the amount recovered. Completion is when we find the true location(s) and names(s) of the scammers and devise a very compelling reason they should pay you to go away and we are good at that. Keep an eye on the website for more information on the resolution of this case.
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