How to protect yourself from financial scams

Sponsored content: QSuper, one of Australia’s largest and older super funds, reveals cryptocurrency and investment scams are on the rise.
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Australians lost around $70 million to investment scams in the first half of 2021, which was more than the total losses for 20201 .

The 53.4% jump in losses to investment scams in the six months to 30 June 2021 compared to last year prompted the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Scamwatch to warn consumers to beware of investment and cryptocurrency scams.

Scamwatch found there were 4,763 reports about investment scams between 1 January-30 June 2021, up from 3,104 in the first half of 2020.

ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said cryptocurrency scams were on the rise.

“More than half of the $70 million in losses were to cryptocurrency, especially through Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency scams were also the most commonly reported type of investment scam with 2,240 reports,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

Losses to other types of investment scams, including imposter bond scams, Ponzi schemes and romance baiting scams, also increased.


Reduce your risk of investment scams

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s (ASIC) MoneySmart website2  said every scam is different, can be very difficult to spot, and anyone can be scammed.

Investment scam types can include:

  • An investment offer that is completely fake.
  • An investment exists, but the money you give the scammer doesn't go towards that investment.
  • The scammer says they represent a well-known investment company but they're lying.


How to spot investment scams

Be suspicious of anyone who offers you easy money and look out for warning signs you may be being scammed. 

Be wary if the person offering you an investment opportunity:

  • Does not have an Australian financial services (AFS) licence or says they don't need one.
  • Calls you repeatedly, keeps you on the phone, or emails you a lot.
  • Demands you make a quick decision or you will miss out on the deal.
  • Offers professional-looking prospectuses, brochures, share certificates or receipts, but their prospectus isn't registered with ASIC.

If you think you are being targeted by a scam, here’s where to get help.

With more than 620,000 members and $120 billion in funds under administration3  QSuper has helped their members feel good about their super for over 100 years. Our members know, beyond every cloud, there is always blue sky. To find out more, visit today.



1 Media Release, 24 August 2021, Australians lose over $70 million to bogus investment opportunities, at

2 ASIC, MoneySmart, Investment scams, accessed 2 September 2021, at

3 Funds under administration as at 30 June 2021. Net assets include the retirement funds managed by QSuper and employer-sponsor receivables for Defined Benefit members managed and held by Queensland Treasury

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Things to note

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.