So far, Australians have lost over $300 million in investment scams this year.

Investment scams have increased by over 160% compared to last year.

Investment scams are becoming more sophisticated and dexterous. In the past, investment scams involved promises of big payouts, quick money or guaranteed returns. Generally speaking, you could surmise that if it sounded too good to be true, it probably was.

Now, investment scams are becoming more cultivated and refined. They seem more friendly, smart, charming and patient. They generally have a website that adds credibility to their offer. They try to earn your trust over a period of weeks.

The scammer will look at the latest investment trends for opportunities. For example, they may use well-known company names, platforms such as NASDAQ and the Australian Stock Exchange, and terms (such as cryptocurrency) to establish credibility.

Many, if not most, of the scammers operate from overseas. Overseas-based scammers target Australians because ASIC does not have international jurisdiction to prosecute the overseas scammer, and they are very difficult to track. 

Further, you need to be wary about investing directly in overseas companies. If you invest in an overseas entity and something goes wrong, ASIC will be unable to assist you in recovering your funds.

What you should do before investing

  • Do your own checks on the investment opportunity. Do not rely solely on the scammer’s website. Search for other credible information that is not linked to the investor or the target investment.
  • Get the callback details of the scammer, for example, a phone number, not just an email address.
  • Check the spelling on all correspondence from the scammer. In the past, there were occasional spelling and grammatical errors.
  • Question why is the scammer targeting you? Where did they get your details from?
  • Always get independent advice before investing. It has taken you a lifetime to accumulate your wealth, so ensure you protect the capital security of your hard-earned savings.

Should you require further information, please contact Peter Quinn by submitting an enquiry or call us on +61 2 9580 9166 to book an obligation-free appointment.

The information in this document does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it. It is important that your personal circumstances are taken into account before making any financial decision and it is recommended that you seek assistance from your financial adviser.