With organise crime already costing Australians around $36 billion each year, it should come as no surprise that criminals are now increasingly targeting the next big golden goose – the $2.2 trillion superannuation sector.
According to the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), organised crime gangs and hackers are trying to rob Australians of their super savings, through complex phishing scams and electronic hacking.
“A recent increase has been observed in the use of targeted online methodologies to fraudulently access an individual’s superannuation account,” states the Organised Crime in Australia report.
“SMSFs (self-managed super funds) are particularly vulnerable to incidents of fraud, in part due to the desire of individuals to source and control their own investments.”
The report also states that identity crime, where personal and financial information is stolen, last year cost Australians $2.2 billion – an increase from $1.6 billion in 2014.
“As visibility of criminal activities becomes increasingly obscured through new technologies and sophisticated methods, it is clear that a connected, informed and collaborative response to the threat is required,” said ACIC acting chief, Nicole Rose.
An Australian Institute of Criminology survey states that identity crime is now the most common form of household-related theft.
The ACIC report also pointed out that the use of “professional facilitators” was becoming a serious issue.
“The most common professions exploited by organised crime include lawyers, accountants, financial and tax advisers, registered migration agents, stockbrokers, real estate agents and customs brokers,” states the report.
Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan said that fighting organised crime in Australia was a massive challenge.
“That co-operation between state and federal law enforcement is absolutely vital if we’re going to have a compressive national response to beat criminality,” he said.
How safe is your super? Do you trust your professional advisers?