Wine investment scheme victims warned over scammers

Wine investment scheme victims warned over scammers

The Insolvency Service has warned investors in a liquidated wine investment scheme that they could be targeted by scammers.

Global Wine Exchange Limited was wound up in March this year after using high-pressure sales techniques to encourage members of the public to invest in fine wines that were never bought.

The company offered would-be investors the opportunity to invest in fine wines with the promise of “significant” returns, cold-calling potential clients.

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Several customers were vulnerable or elderly, and the Insolvency Service said one was reportedly suffering from Alzheimer’s.

The company was put into compulsory liquidation after the courts determined that it abused £1.9mn of investors’ funds.

In a notice last week (September 29), the Insolvency Service said victims of the scheme have been targeted by “recovery room scammers” issuing false promises that they can return investors’ lost funds.

These scammers have been posing as officials from a trading standards professional body, and have told investors if they do not engage with them and share personal details about their claim, their funds will not be returned.

Senior examiner at the Insolvency Service, Mark Ireson, said: “Recovery room scammers deceitfully impersonate a legitimate corporate entity and claim they are acting on their behalf to help you recover lost fees.”

He added that in this case, the scammers are sending emails from what look like official trading standards accounts.

“We strongly urge Global Wine Exchange investors to ignore these messages and report them straight to the Official Receiver. 

“The Official Receiver will never ask you to pay an up-front fee to get your investment back and as liquidator, the Official Receiver is the only person that can distribute available funds.”

The Insolvency Service has urged investors who believe they have been contacted by the scammer to report it to the official receiver.