Wine Investment Scams Are Still Running Riot

August 1, 2015 Updated: November 27, 2015


It’s a common misconception that investors of the modern day are too savvy to be duped by scams. It can actually be just the opposite. From a cold call to an invented fee, investors are still falling victim to scams every year. Wine investment scams are just one of the popular options for fraudsters these days.

Wine investment is a target for scammers

Wine investment started to gain more exposure in the 90s and has seen huge increases in popularity since then. Scams such as those that target pensioners are still going strong, for example cold calling scams that badger the older generation into purchasing wine investments.

One aspect of wine investment that is advantageous and appealing for fraudsters is that investors rarely see their bottles. As the majority of investment wine is kept in bonded warehouses, to avoid tax, it is thus kept out of sight of its owners. This gives several variant opportunities for scams, such as selling false stock and forging documents or selling stock that is in poor condition.

90% of investment wine is stored in bond. This means that the chance of an investor actually seeing the bottles they have invested in is very small.

“You could face an ugly surprise when you come to sell the wine and it is found to be worth much less than assumed,” warn professional wine buyers The London Wine Cellar.

Recent scams and the scammers in wine investment

This year several wine investment fraudsters have appeared in the news. Many of these have swindled between hundreds of thousands of pounds and millions . A frequent trend is for businesses to liquidate and therefore have no means to pay investors back as the businesses won’t exist.

Two in five people have reported being scammed via cold calling techniques, making it one of the most popular choices for fraud.

Recently there has also been growing popularity for scammers to pretend they’re working on behalf of a wine investment company in liquidation and claim they are getting the investors money back. Instead they charge them a variety of invented fees and disappear with the money. Needles to say the investor never gets either their initial investment nor the so-called fees back.

Wine investment can be very dangerous as it isn’t too difficult to get scammed, even if you have already been a victim as in the aforementioned case.

If you’re looking to expand your portfolio into wine make sure you are very aware of the risks and do a great deal of homework on any company you’re looking to work with. All investment industries have their grey and seedy areas. Don’t fall into the wine investment scam trap.