Great investment or scam?

Australians are losing millions of dollars through fake investment products sold by scammers.

Stay Smart Online recently sent an alert to Queenslanders after receiving reports of Australians losing millions of dollars through fake investment products sold by scammers.

The scammers are luring people online to fake website by getting them to click on ads in Facebook and other social media platforms.

Visitors to the website are asked to set up an overseas online account and pay an initial investment. The account holder will then receive calls from ‘professionals’ convincing them to keep investing more money.

Victims have reported losing tens of thousands of dollars, with several victims losing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Scammers are also requesting personal information including passport, driver licence, email and bank account details. They can also gain remote access to the accountholder’s home computer by asking them to set up a digital wallet.

The duration of this scam is sometimes only a week from creating the account to having the money stolen.

How to stay safe

  1. If you’re looking to invest money, do your research first. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission has advice on how to keep your investments safe and warning signs to look out for when investing. Money Smart also has information on companies you should avoid dealing with.
  2. Don’t share your personal, banking or credit card information with people you don't know or trust and never give them access to your computer – no matter how legitimate they seem to be.
  3. Always get independent financial advice before taking action and talk to trusted family members or friends to get a second opinion.
  4. Do not hand over any personal details to an investment company unless you have independently verified the legitimacy of the caller.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commissions (ACCC) Targeting Scams Report Queenslanders lost almost $18.5 million dollars to scammers in 2018. Find out what scams are costing Queenslanders.

 

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