An Instagram trader who claimed he was making £110,000 a month has been accused of duping more than 1,000 investors into losing nearly £4,000,000 in a Bahamas fund.
Instagram forex trader Gurvin Singh, 20, is believed to have convinced at least 1,250 people to invest in a foreign exchange trading scheme with his seal of approval. Many of them say he misled them into thinking their money would be traded by him and his team in a safe UK-based fund which they could withdraw from at any time.
They claim their accounts seemed to be doing well but started panicking when word got round the fund started losing millions in a matter of weeks. On Christmas Eve they were told the fund would be closed until March due to ‘Brexit-related headwinds’, but none have heard from Mr Singh since.
Their money appears to have ended up with a broker in the Caribbean, and may be unrecoverable. Mr Singh is under investigation by the financial authorities as a potential scammer, and the police’s fraud unit have confirmed they are looking into the allegations.
The Rise of the Instagram Forex Trader
The 20-year-old first made headlines in 2019 when he claimed to have turned £200 into £100,000 on the foreign exchange market while studying to become a doctor. Instagram snaps of his luxury car collection and lavish lifestyle quickly amassed him over 170,000 followers.
He started receiving messages from people looking for investment tips and ‘signals’, a service whereby forex traders let clients copy their moves on the market for a price. The Plymouth-based student then started a team of ‘affiliate marketers’ called GS3 Trades to help set up clients, whose money would be managed on a platform called Infinox.
Alleged victims have said there were at least five WhatsApp groups with 250 investors in each, meaning there could be more than 1,250 involved. Screenshots of the Infinox account appear to show the Instagram Forex trader’s clients lost £3,865,000 between them between August 2019 and Christmas Eve.
Although the group had access to some data tracking their fund, they argue they were duped into thinking it was doing better than it was. They were pointed to an app monitoring completed trades, showing consistent profits for months.
But another app monitoring the amount of money still in open trades told a different story. Losses of a few thousand pounds crept up and then started snowballing into the millions from October.
Metro.co.uk has seen screenshots of investors being discouraged by GS3 marketers from checking the second app or believing what it says. Its existence is not mentioned in any marketing material and the log-in details were tucked away in the small print of a contract investors signed.
The victims of the Instagram Forex Trader
Accountant Jonathan Reuben, 24, who invested £17,000, started raising the alarm when he saw the losses. He and IT manager Richard Ham, 35, who invested £1,500, formed a WhatsApp group of 440 other investors who had started complaining.
They and several other alleged victims, who did not wish to be named, said their concerns were either ignored or met with angry replies. Screenshots show GS3 marketers using group chats to aggressively warn investors against backing out when they started panicking, claiming they would ‘mess it up’ for others.
When they contacted authorities they realised the Infinox brand has companies registered in both the UK and the Bahamas, and they had all signed contracts referring to the Bahamas entity in the small print. Only the UK company is FCA-regulated.
Jonathan told Metro.co.uk ‘If I knew that this investment was not FCA-regulated, and it was not actually GS3 trading for me, I would never have deposited money into the scheme whatsoever.’ Richard said he wants the FCA and the police to get to the bottom of where their money has gone.
Metro.co.uk has seen dozens of messages, cached web pages and marketing material allegedly from Gurvin Singh and GS3 telling investors their trades would be mirrored on a UK-regulated platform. They also show numerous investors being invited by GS3 to join through a link registered to the .bs web domain, which looks almost identical to Infinox UK’s .com site.
Metro.co.uk has also seen video of Infinox marketing material promising investors a maximum drawdown of 30 per cent, meaning they would stop trading if the fund fell by more than 30 per cent of its original value.
An investor claiming to have experience in forex trading suspects that a small portion of the money was traded day-to-day to show steady profits, while a much larger amount was used on risky trades that remained open for a longer period of time.
The fund only appears to have been closed once the losses on the open trades neared the amount of money that had been invested in the first place. If the trades were indeed closed then the money may have been lost on the market and may not even be held in the Bahamas.
Many people claiming to have put money in the fund also said they asked to have their initial investment withdrawn before Christmas Eve but have yet to receive it. Metro.co.uk revealed on New Year’s Day that Mr Singh is being investigated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority as a potential scammer.
The financial regulator said it believes he and his GS3 businesses were carrying out unauthorised activities. Mr Singh has previously said he only referred people to the brokerage service, and was not doing anything that needed the regulator’s approval. The Instangram Forex trader had deleted all his Instagram posts and scrubbed his website of all information.
Gurvin Singh side of the story
The Instagram Forex Trader told Metro.co.uk the reason for deleting all his instagram posts as @gs_3 was ‘a matter linked to the police’. He admitted to taking payments from Infinox via GS3 Marketing in return for referring ‘a few hundred’ customers but denied that this had anything to do with his GS3 Marketing business.
Gurvin Singh said he was working on another company’s behalf but would not name it. Mr Singh also admitted that he had ‘sub-affiliates’ helping refer clients to Infinox but denied paying them, or that they were his employees, and would not elaborate further on their business relationship with him.
He also insists he never led anyone to believe they were investing through an FCA-regulated broker, suggesting his sub-affiliates may have made such claims while impersonating him. Mr Singh added investors signed a contract with a broker regulated in the Bahamas, which carried out the trading.
However Metro.co.uk understands it is forbidden even to market such services outside the EU to people in Britain. UK residents are allowed to send investments to countries like the Bahamas but they must request to do so unprompted. Mr Singh did not respond to a request for further comment. Infinox’s Bahamas and UK companies have been approached for comment.
The Financial Conduct Authority reaction
The FCA said on December 31: ‘Almost all firms and individuals offering, promoting or selling financial services or products in the UK have to be authorised by us. ‘However, some firms act without our authorisation and some knowingly run investment scams.
‘This firm is not authorised by us and is targeting people in the UK. Based upon information we hold, we believe it is carrying on regulated activities which require authorisation.’ The regulator declined to provide an update today.