Quickly earning money following the advice of finfluencers (isn’t possible)

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18 March 2024 - 6 min Reading time

New Febelfin campaign warns for fake investment advice on social media


In a new campaign of Febelfin, influencers Jonathan Medart and Sami Farhat warn for the dangers of online investment fraud. From a luxury yacht or exclusive car, they urge their followers to follow their financial advice for several weeks in a Telegram group created for that purpose. The promise? Those who follow this advice could become as rich as them in no time. Of course, the yacht and the car are rented and the promises are as false as the tips of the many scammers active on social media. The real message? Do not follow your hero with money!


What is investment fraud and how does it work?


Investment fraud is a type of scam in which fraudsters offer you fictitious or worthless shares or financial products. They usually contact you unsolicited with an offer for a “fantastic deal that promises to yield high returns”. “Amazing deals” appear on social media advertised by ‘finfluencers’ who promise you quick and easy money.

Fraudsters adopt an inventive approach. They claim to have the necessary licences, for example, and usually have a professional website or great testimonials to convince you. In this way, they hope to gain your full trust. In practice, it often goes wrong. The investments that follow will in fact be loss-making and requesting your money will turn out to be impossible, but actually, the fraudsters are the ones who will run off with your invested money. The figures don’t lie: in 2023, Belgian consumers reported to have been robbed off more than EUR 15,482,000 by fraudulent trading platforms.


1 out of 4 youngsters follow the advice of a famous person or finfluencer


A survey by Febelfin shows that 44% Belgians invest in financial products other than savings accounts, and the proportion of young investors stands at 31%. A good thing. It is however remarkable that 23% of young investors invest in crypto currencies, while young people’s knowledge about these crypto currencies is significantly low (42%: no knowledge, 30%: insufficient knowledge).

Young investors also seek their information more often on social media and can therefore be more easily influenced by influencers or famous people. Thus, they are particularly vulnerable to receiving fake advice. A quarter of young people would consider following the advice of finfluencers about investments products or crypto currencies. Moreover, 10% of those who are not yet investing indicated that it is very likely that they would follow the advice, and among those who are already investing, this figure even reaches 15%.

It is thus clear that they are an easy target for scammers. The survey also showed that young people are more willing to take bigger risks than the rest of the population. In short: a very dangerous cocktail.

Source: Research by Indiville in cooperation with Febelfin, 2023, 2117 completed surveys in Dutch/French with a share of 761 youngsters (age 16-30)


Campaign ‘Do not follow the advice of finfluencers blindly’


In this context, Febelfin developed, in cooperation with creative bureau Hurae, a campaign with the slogan ‘Do not follow the advice of finfluencers blindly’. This campaign is aimed at youngsters that are often approached by ‘finfluencers or ‘financial guru’s’ on social media. It is a social media campaign in which youngsters get to see videos on Tiktok, Instagram and Youtube of a famous influencer that is supposedly convincing them to participate in a private group on Telegram, in order to earn fast and ‘easy money’.

In the videos, the influencer lives a life of luxury, claiming this is thanks to all kinds of investments. In the end, it becomes clear that this is all fake, and that you should always be on your guard for such deals via social media. For the Dutch-language campaign, we worked with Jonathan Medart and for the French-language version, with Sami Farhat. They are both active on channels such as Tiktok, Instagram and Youtube and together have millions of followers.

“In two weeks’ time, Jonathan and Sami reached more than 500 people in the Telegram group, people that were genuinely interested in the trading tips of their online heroes. Thus, it’s very clear how easily youngsters can be convinced for such practices. With this campaign, we want to address an issue that resonates strongly among young people. Karel Baert, CEO Febelfin

‘Twenty- and thirty-year-olds fall into the trap easily as well. Online fraudsters are particularly inventive and use all kinds of, often professional, ways to deceive people and gain their trust. Via e-mail or telephone, via fake advertisements on social media, … That’s why we provide several useful tips on our website to outsmart scammers yourself.’ Jean-Paul Servais, Chairman of the FSMA


Some tips to avoid investment fraud

  • A so-called investor promising you sky-high returns on social media? Think twice before believing them: if a return seems too good to be true, it usually is! In any case, be suspicious and vigilant for fraud.
  • Never invest in a product if you don’t perfectly understand exactly what it implies and always verify the information you receive, such as the identity of the advertiser.
  • Be particularly wary if the provider claims that he/she can only pay out profits after you have first deposited an additional sum of money or have paid a tax.
  • Never just transfer money to a foreign bank account. You can find more info about this on the website of the FSMA.

Noticed anything suspicious or victim of this fraud?


If you have noticed something suspicious on social media or have become a victim of investment fraud, contact the FSMA via their contact form immediately.