Fraud warning over fake bogus film productions

Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

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VICTIMS of a film scam are losing an average of £33,000 - Humberside Police’s fraud squad is warning.

It is highlighting two new scams they say are sweeping across the UK.

The first, which offers people the chance to invest in bogus film productions, has seen a 19 per cent rise in the number of reports to Action Fraud between January and May this year, with an average loss of £33,000.

Victims are cold called and asked to invest in Unregulated Collective Investment Schemes (UCIS) to help to fund a new movie starring famous actors.

In this case, the name of the production company is often very similar to an existing company – with a small variation in the spelling.

Once an online payment is made, the victim is unable to contact the company and never receives the high returns they were promised.

As the schemes are unregulated, investors do not have the protection of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) or Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

The second scam targets small and medium businesses who are looking to develop their companies but are unable to obtain a bank loan.

Fraudulent financial trust services request advance non-refundable fees in order to issue funds – which are then not received.

Sometimes the service will ask the investor to set up a specific bank account and request payments via a bank transfer to an account abroad.

One businessman has reported investing almost £3m over a short period of time, to a firm selling trusts to companies seeking to develp.

The victim requested initial payments to be returned but the financial trust service declined to return them.

If you believe you have been affected by these, or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk

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