[adning id=”12070″]

[adning id=”12070″]

Beware of “too good to be true” investment opportunities

Losses to imposter bond investment scams have nearly tripled in the first half of this year with consumers losing over $20 million to these sophisticated scams.

Imposter bond scams usually impersonate real financial companies or banks and claim to offer government/Treasury bonds or fixed term deposits.

People often fall victim to them after searching online for investment opportunities and completing enquiry forms via fake third-party comparison sites.

The latest Scamwatch data reveals there were 228 reports of imposter bond scams between January and June, compared with 82 reports in the first half of last year.

ABF media

Losses suffered by Australian victims of imposter bond scams increased by 265 per cent in the first half of the year, compared to the same period last year. However, the true losses to these scams are likely to be much higher, as research shows that only around 13 per cent of scam victims report their losses to Scamwatch.

“We are seeing an alarming increase in imposter bond scams, so we are urging Australians to be very cautious when presented with investment opportunities,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“As interest rates rise, people looking to invest in bonds are falling victim to these scams after searching online for investment opportunities. This is often after they complete enquiry forms on fake third-party comparison websites.”

“These comparison sites can appear very convincing, and people are providing their details under the impression that these are legitimate Australian sites comparing real financial services,” Ms Rickard said.

“Convinced they are making a long-term, legitimate investment, it’s common for victims to deposit larger sums upfront and not check their account for months before realising they were scammed.”

ABF media

More than half of those who reported losses to imposter bond scams were first contacted by phone, accounting for $11 million in losses.

“It’s critical to independently verify the financial institution or bank issuing the bonds by calling the bank or financial service directly, using details you have sourced yourself – rather than using any phone numbers or links provided. If you seem to have been dealing with someone from the institution ask to speak to them.” Ms Rickard said.

“Always have an accredited financial or legal advisor check any potential investment opportunity before you send any money or provide your credit card details and only ever invest as much as you can afford to lose.”

“Bonds can be purchased via the ASX. If you are thinking about doing this, follow ASIC’s safety advice,” Ms Rickard said.

“Investment opportunities that promise a high return with little to no risk are likely to be a scam.”

Australia Asia Forum

Victims of imposter bond scams are usually directed to transfer funds into a bank account, which are sometimes based in Australia.

“If you have reason to believe you have been scammed, contact your bank or financial institution as soon as possible as they may be able to find where the money went, block scam accounts and help others to avoid sending money to scammers,” Ms Rickard said.

If you have given away personal information, as most victims have, then also contact IDCARE as soon as possible.

Equally, organisations that are aware they are regularly targeted by scammers impersonating them, have an important role to play in the prevention of scams.

“Organisations should actively monitor for, warn about and promptly seek the removal of websites impersonating their brand,” Ms Rickard said.

ABF media

More information about scams can be found in the ACCC’s latest Targeting Scams report.

Source: Commonwealth of Australia

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Email
Print

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

SUBSCRIBE FREE
SME NEWS BRIEFS

Get breaking news delivered
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

RECEIVE GOVT GRANT OF $10K to $250K*.

Austrade Approved Business Events
AVAILABLE NOW APPLY BEFORE 30th MARCH 2021 (Condition apply)

  • ABF Events are approved and listed below have been certified by Austrade on the Schedule of Approved Business Events.
  • This allows exhibitors, sponsors, delegates and partners to participate in the Business Events Grant Program. Note event bookings need to be confirmed ASAP to participate in the grant program
  • The program provides 50% rebate (based on a minimum spend of $20k) for approved items including ABF event-media packages, exhibition stands, corporate function tables, delegate registrations.
  • Govt Grant applications are now open until the 30 March. Please contact ABF to discuss how we can assist, we have experts to assist grant applications.
  • Grant funding will cover up to 50% of eligible expenditure incurred in participating at pre-approved business-to-business events as buyers or sellers during the 2021 calendar year.  All grant applications must be submitted for approval via the following link: https://business.gov.au/grants-and-programs/business-events-grants
  • For further information please see this fact sheet.
Subscribe now
receive newsletter & our event promotion
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Are you sure want to unlock this post?
Unlock left : 0
Are you sure want to cancel subscription?