When David put his cheque in the post he expected good short-term gains - not a fraud investigation. David, 41, replied to an advertisement about a year ago in a business magazine offering investment advice. The sales pitch that followed was good, the Web sites and brochures led him to expect good returns, so in July he sent GBP10,000 (HK$123,900) to Equity Mutual Trust to be invested in the Grand Financial Fund. David grew suspicious when letters from Equity kept arriving from different countries - Switzerland, Malta, Austria, the Turks and Caicos Islands and Belize - in the space of just a few months. Then his 'money managers' stopped answering the phone and the daily Internet listings dried up. 'I knew something wasn't right. They kept moving offices and I could never get through on the phone,' David said. When David said he wanted to sell, he was advised to top up his investment and shift it to a Canadian company, Mil-tec, allegedly a millennium bug troubleshooter. Again, information he was directed to on the Internet made it look good. But before sending a cheque, he alerted the Financial Services Commission in the Turks and Caicos Islands - where Equity was based - and was referred to British police.