- Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) has received reports that consumers are being targeted by scammers impersonating ASIC employees.
- Scammers are offering to help consumers recover funds, usually lost via an initial scam. In this follow-up scam, they ask for payment to help retrieve funds.
- ASIC would never ask for money or crypto-currency to retrieve funds that have been invested or lost. ASIC will never request direct transfers of money into a personal bank account or crypto-wallet.
Warning signs that contact from ASIC (or any government agency) is not legitimate include:
- Requesting money through unsolicited contact on the telephone, SMS or email,
- Requesting to click on a link to confirm personal details,
- Requesting upfront payment for goods or services, and
- Requesting that payment be made via crypto-currency or into a personal bank account.
ASIC does not endorse particular investments. ASIC never gives permission to use its logo or the names of its staff to promote financial products or services. You should be wary of any website or advert that states the investment is approved by ASIC, Moneysmart or contains ASIC’s logos – it could be a scam.
You can call ASIC’s Customer Contact Centre on 1300 300 630 for verification if you are unsure whether you’re dealing with an ASIC employee.
Tips to protect yourself
- Be cautious when clicking on hyperlinks embedded in SMS and emails – do not click on links or attachments in emails from unknown sources.
- Keep your personal information and passwords secure – don’t share your password with others and change your passwords regularly.
- Be suspicious of unsolicited contact, especially when the caller asks for money.
- If you’ve opened an email that looks suspicious, don’t click any links, open any attachments or reply to it.
- Be very cautious of requests to allow remote access to your computer.
Think you have been scammed?
What to do if you think you, or someone you know, has been scammed
- Stop sending money, even if the entity has requested money to ‘withdraw funds’ – if the entity asks this it’s likely you’re being scammed.
- Report it to your bank or financial institution.
For more information, visit ASIC’s Moneysmart how to spot an investment scam page.
If you notice ASIC’s logo or references to Moneysmart and ASIC staff on a company’s promotional materials submit a report of misconduct to ASIC. Include a link to the website or a screenshot.
Your report may disrupt the scammers and hopefully will warn others to avoid it.
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
Source: © Australian Securities & Investments Commission. Reproduced with permission.
ASIC is Australia’s integrated corporate, markets, financial services and consumer credit regulator.
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