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Gardaí conduct search as part of social media foreign exchange trading investigation

Gardaí seized mobile phones and documentation after two premises were searched today.

Image: Shutterstock/chainarong06

GARDAÍ HAVE SEARCHED two premises as part of an investigation into an entity that uses social media to promote foreign exchange trading. 

Gardaí said this organisation uses social media sites like Instagram and Facebook to promote and advise people to invest in Forex (foreign exchange) trading.

The entity promises easy and high returns on investment and it is not authorised by the Central Bank, gardaí said. 

Mobile phones and documentation were seized during the searches today. No arrests have been made.

The ongoing investigation relates to regulation breaches under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive 2017.

Gardaí said some influencers are involved in this.

They use social platforms to make trading recommendations, advising people when to buy or sell currency or other financial means using foreign exchange traders. 

Gardaí said these influencers usually have a “limited understanding of the Forex trading market”. 

Firms and individuals that offer investment advice in this trading require authorisation from the Central Bank or other regulatory bodies if based outside Ireland. 

How does this happen? 

Gardaí said the companies or individuals promoting this investment do not have offices and aren’t authorised by the Central Bank. Their existence is solely through a website or social media account. 

Gardaí added that influencers and other promoters involved in this showcase their own alleged success in trading by sharing images of themselves online featuring expensive cars, high-end shopping and holidays. 

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Associated accounts will also describe how they made the money so easily on the advice of these influencers. 

Warning signs

Gardaí said one warning sign to identify a potential issue is if the firm offers quick or easy money with high returns through social media. 

Other signs including a quick and easy subscription process and no physical address or contact phone number for the firm or entity offering the advice. 

The public is asked to follow advice from the Central Bank before making financial decisions or providing personal information. 

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