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Rise in investment scams during pandemic

ASIC has seen a rise in the number of investment scam reports from Australian consumers and investors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reports of misconduct received by ASIC from March to May 2020 are up 20 per cent compared to the same period last year.

ASIC’s Warren Day said economic uncertainty due to COVID-19 has created a perfect storm.

“Australians are at risk of being scammed and losing money, and scammers are using age-old tactics in new and sophisticated ways to target people,” he said.

“We are seeing a spike in reports of scams related to fake crypto-assets (or crypto currencies), term deposits, investments and scams that start via romance sites.

“ASIC is particularly concerned about the risk to consumers and investors losing money when buying into fake crypto-assets. Most crypto-asset investment opportunities reported to ASIC appear to be outright scams and there is no actual underlying investment,” Mr Day said.

While reports from the public provide ASIC with valuable intelligence, scammers are difficult to catch and lost money can be difficult to recover, especially when they are operating outside of Australia.

Scams can take many forms. Reports of scams received by ASIC indicate that many financial and investment scams have similar traits. Scammers often:

  • present a range of investment offers – from modest returns to high returns – that sound safer than they are
  • make persistent requests to continue investing despite no evidence of actual returns on initial investments
  • display fake endorsements from celebrities or government agencies, including ASIC
  • request money be paid to a person or company into multiple or constantly changing bank accounts
  • lure someone via a romance site and direct them to send money or invest in crypto-assets or forex trading.

 

Have you seen investment offers that are too good to be true during the pandemic?

9 comments

I only use Paypal when I purchase anything On Line

and hang up immediatly if I get a scam phone call and put a block on it.

yeh   1n 1985 I joined  a group similar to Amway   I put 10k  in and had made 10k of sales  along with 90 other people,,,we sold membeship cards to people who bought cars and boats etc at a discount,,,,,,Then one day we were told a memberof the company

Had skipped with all the investments and the commissions,,,owed 30 secretaries backlog of wages,,rent ,water,tradies  and cos the girls were ringinging for discounts 24/7 they owed to phone company one and a half million

The phone company drew us all in to a class action but then just wrote it off leaving us stranded 

thesetup  was called trumpcard and the crook,s name no one hadheard of was Donald Trump

His solicitor told us """Your arms arent long enough to reach America so he got away with millions

This morning I received a phone call from "Amazon Services" with the recorded message that if I wanted to avoid having to pay $99.00 to push number 1. I hung up straight away.

I smelled a rat as i have no dealings with Amzon.

Checked on line with Amazon where it was stated that the do not contact people by phone.

So be warned, another scam!

Yestarday, I received a call purporting to be from Telstra saying something about "Due to the COVID-19 crisis they were "blah,blah" and please press 1 to speak to a representative" etc, etc. Very genuine-sounding Aussie female voice. Rubbish of course.

Sadly investment scammers aren't the only ones trying to get hold of our money.

As for "Have you seen investment offers that are too good to be true during the pandemic?"

... no more than usual, in my case.

Hi Gerry you believe you were scammed by Donald Trump? And even his solicitor joined in the party!

Well, that's nothing - I got scammed by Barack Obama who was in cahoots with the Easter Bunny. Also, I bought shares in the Moon from a roadside vendor who turned out to be Neil Armstrong. But I managed to sell them a profit to Prince Philip. amazing how gullible some people are, not so?

 

 

Anyone who accepts an invitation to invest in an unknown venture, from an unknown person making unsolicited phone calls or sending unsolicited emails, is a fool, and as history shows, will soon be parted from their money!

Devuman, where did you get what you are drinking?  It seems to work pretty well.

 

The idea of Trump ripping people off does not sound at all unreasonable.  More reasonable than the demented Trump anyway.

Yeah i got scammed by cryptonix.io myself, it took a while but i met the agent Mr Bart kasch and he helped me recover my money. Contact him if you need help with recovery at BartKasch@affiliaterecovery.com

 

I have received an email from PayPal and Bitcoin to say to check my accounts with them - never had an account with either so pressed the Junk button . Also got an email from Aust. Post to follow a parcel I was supposed to have  had  delivered by an unkown company, Junk button pressed again. 

 

I hadn't been getting many scam emails until last week.

Must be a new spambot on the loose I think, have received up to 15 a day since then, many titles containing poor wording, unusual capitalisations and/or foreign characters.

I access them on my provider's server and delete all without opening. 

9 comments