British magnate Sir Richard Branson, owner of the conglomerate Virgin Group, has warned the public that criminals are using his name to dupe people into buying fake investments involving binary options.
According to the City of London Police, Branson has spoken out after a growing number of fraud victims are complaining to the police that were scammed by fraudsters claiming that he, or his companies, are involved in the investment hoax. Victims have also contacted Sir Richard himself, claiming they have invested in his companies.
“I am determined to prevent anyone being confused into giving money or their personal information away on a false pretence. These scams can be terrifyingly deceptive and I would urge everyone to look out for these stories and report them as soon as you see them”, Sir Richard Branson said, quoted by the police.
“Action Fraud and the City of London Police have seen an increase in binary options fraud in the last two of years. Opportunist fraudsters have taken advantage of an unregulated market and done everything can to defraud unsuspecting investors”, said Detective Superintendent Glenn Maleary. “Anyone who invests in binary options should be vigilant about who they are trading with and should follow our protection advice to ensure that they don’t fall victim to what is becoming a commonplace investment scam”.
Sir Richard Branson is by far not the first famous person to be falsely implicated in financial products and investment scams. Earlier this year the physicist Stephen Hawking’s name was used to promote a trading algorithm to the binary options site Option.fm.