- Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) is alerting consumers to a rise in investment scams impersonating companies or financial investment firms.
- Scammers often make contact through Gmail and Outlook email accounts.
- Contact details of the scammers do not match the information published on the legitimate company’s website.
What to look out for
- Contact details which do not match independent sources.ASIC is aware of scammers providing information and materials, including contact details and impressive brochures, to ‘verify’ their legitimacy. This information can be very convincing and look authentic. The only differences to the legitimate company’s documents are the contact details and/or bank details.
- Calls or messages received out of the blue.ASIC receives many reports where scammers have made or sent unsolicited calls or messages to consumers promising high returns and profits.
- A request for remote access to your computer.ASIC is aware of scammers impersonating legitimate companies and then use convincing reasons for the victim to give them remote access (i.e. the ability to log into the victim’s computer or phone from their location). If someone asks you for remote access it is probably a scam.
- A person you met online telling you about a great investment opportunity.Many scammers go to great lengths to build relationships and gain trust before offering an investment opportunity. ASIC has received reports of people being approached over email, social media or dating apps prior to being offered an investment opportunity.
Think you have been scammed?
- Do not send any more money.
- Report it to your financial institution. Your report may disrupt the scammers and could assist in warning others to avoid it.
- Be wary of follow-up scams promising to help you get your money back.
- Report it to your local police.
- Report it to ASIC (unfortunately ASIC cannot help you get your money back).
If you need someone to talk to, contact:
- Lifeline on 13 11 14 (24 hours) or their crisis support online chat (7pm – 12am) or
- Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36 (24 hours) or their web chat (1pm – 12am)
If you are experiencing problems with debt, contact:
- the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 (Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm) or chat online
ASIC is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator.
Source: © Australian Securities & Investments Commission. Reproduced with permission.
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