ASIC warns of rise in investment scams impersonating companies
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) today issued a warning about 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.
ASIC advises the public to look out for contact details which do not match independent sources. The regulator 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 should also be alarming. ASIC receives many reports where scammers have made or sent unsolicited calls or messages to consumers promising high returns and profits.
Another red flag is 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.
Do not trust a person whom you met online and who is 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.
- If you believe you’ve been scammed, ASIC advises you to stop sending any more money.
- You can also report your case 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 the scam to your local police and to ASIC, which, unfortunately, cannot help you get your money back.