Investment scam prevention

Your account's safety is our priority. Discover examples of investment scams and learn how to shield yourself from scams and cyber threats.

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What are investment scams?

Investment scams can be highly sophisticated, with scammers adept at assuming various personas with new scams appearing constantly. There is a concerning trend of criminals impersonating legitimate financial service organisations and their staff, adding layers of complexity to the detection process. But there are things that you can be aware of, and be on the lookout for, to avoid being caught in an investment scam.

Examples of investment scams

Fake Investment Pages on Social Media Platforms

Scammers create fake investment pages on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, impersonating reputable financial institutions or investment firms. These pages mimic the branding and content of legitimate companies, enticing users with promises of high returns and low risks. However, the investment opportunities promoted on these pages are fraudulent, and investors risk losing their money by participating.

Phishing Emails from Fake Financial Institutions

Scammers send phishing emails posing as representatives of well-known financial institutions. These emails typically contain urgent requests for personal or financial information, claiming there is an issue with the recipient's account or an opportunity for a lucrative investment. However, clicking on links or providing information in response to these emails can result in identity theft or financial loss.

Fake Financial Institution Websites

Scammers create websites mimicking the appearance of renowned financial institutions, complete with similar logos, layouts, and content. They then lure unsuspecting investors to deposit funds or divulge personal information under the guise of legitimate investment opportunities.

False Promises from Unregistered Advisers

Another scenario involves unsolicited contact from a 'financial adviser,' luring you with promises of lucrative investments with minimal risk. However, these individuals are often unregistered and aim to scam you with your invested funds.

Social Media Scams: Beware of False Endorsements

Advertisements on social media platforms, seemingly endorsed by celebrities or personal acquaintances, may tout lucrative investment opportunities. However, these endorsements are often fabricated, designed to deceive you into investing in worthless ventures orchestrated by scammers.

Beware of Investment Impersonation

You might receive a communication from a purported 'financial adviser' linked to a reputable financial planning firm, presenting an enticing investment prospect. These opportunities span a wide array of assets, from shares to cryptocurrencies. Upon scrutiny, you find discrepancies in the advisor's identity and the provided documents, uncovering a fraudulent scheme.

'Funds Recovery' Offers

Individuals offering assistance in recovering lost funds for an upfront fee perpetrate 'funds recovery scams.' Despite promises of restitution, these schemes only exacerbate financial losses without delivering on their assurances.

Look out for the Red Flags

  1. Requests for payments through unconventional methods like Western Union, Bitcoin, gift cards, or card transactions.
  2. Encounters with dubious apps not found on official platforms like Apple App Store or Google Play, or those that raise suspicion.
  3. An enticing offer of high returns coupled with minimal risk.
  4. Receiving unsolicited communication from an investment firm, commonly referred to as 'cold calling.'

Actions for investment scam prevention

  1.  Ensure advisers hold valid Australian Financial Services (AFS) or Australian Credit Licenses from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
  2. Verify credentials directly on the company's website to avoid forged certificates.
  3. Contact companies via their official websites to prevent falling for impersonation scams.
  4. Be cautious about sharing personal ID details, as scammers may exploit them for identity theft.
  5. Check email addresses for consistency with the company's registered ones to spot potential fraud
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