A WOMAN lost €375,000 after using it to invest in an online company buying cryptocurrency.
Gardaí revealed details of the case as they urged people to be wary of investment fraud.
The woman was sent reports saying her deposits were growing and she was making profits.
This tempted her to continue investing but when she tried to cash it out, she realised there was no money at all.
In another case, a person who was persuaded to get involved with an online acquaintance, by investing in a business. The investor ended up losing €120,000 in the scam.
Gardaí say that almost €3 million has been lost so far this year in investment fraud.
"This is where people are persuaded/induced to make investment decisions and where the money invested is used for purposes not intended or where there is no business opportunity at all," a garda spokesman said.
"The investor is deceived into investing in something which is misrepresented. There are generally promises of fast enormous returns, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, includes hard aggressive selling and can be seen to be endorsed by reputable business people and / or celebrities but this is without their knowledge."
He added: "This is not high risk investments or where legitimate investment schemes fail. In most cases there is no business opportunity, the entity is not registered nor does it exist. If registered it is registered well outside Ireland and even the EU."
* Always seek independent financial and legal advice before making any investments and heed this advice
* Don’t respond to POP-UP adds, social media adds / contacts
*Don’t follow links from POP-UP adds or from social media or unsolicited emails/messages or other communications from persons unknown *Don’t respond to cold calls
*Be wary of unsolicited emails / texts / calls / offers / advices
*Be wary where the investment is being endorsed by celebrities / famous business people – they may not know their name is attached to the advertisement
* Never ever give away your banking codes, pins, passwords, or any other personal data
*Don’t download suggested APPS and never allow another take control of your computer
*Only use regulated entities. All Financial Services Providers which hold an authorisation from the Central Bank of Ireland (‘Central Bank’), or where applicable, the SSM (the Single Supervisory Mechanism – European Central Bank), to provide financial services in Ireland are listed in the Central Bank Registers section. Prior to entering into a financial services transaction, members of the public can check the regulatory status of the firm they are dealing with.