Source: Australian Treasurer
The Albanese Government is continuing the fight against scammers as part of our $17.6 million investment in the 2023‑24 Budget to enhance disruption initiatives to combat investment scams.
Thousands of investment scam and phishing websites have been removed since July 2023, following a blitz by ASIC’s new website takedown service provider.
60% of all scam losses involve investment scams. The takedown service identifies and removes fraudulent and malicious investment scam websites reported by ASIC as well as those it identifies.
Most of the 2,100 investment scam websites recently disrupted by ASIC have been fake investment platforms appearing to offer high risk products, such as FX derivatives and crypto assets.
ASIC are also targeting impersonation scams, where legitimate businesses are cloned to trick consumers, and fake celebrity endorsements used to fraudulently promote financial products.
Key warning signs of dodgy investment websites
- Using ASIC’s name and branding to give a false appearance of legitimacy. ASIC will never endorse investments products or platforms.
- Using statements that downplay investment risk or offer very high investment returns. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- A lack of a specific business address.
- Websites or email addresses that mimic but don’t match reputable companies – always do you due diligence.
- Being asked to pay more money to access funds you have already invested.
If you’ve seen a suspicious website and you think it might be an investment scam, report it to scamwatch.gov.au.
Australians can also check to see if a business is licensed to provide financial services on the ASIC Connect Professional Register.
The takedown service supports the work of the Government’s National Anti‑Scams Centre (NASC). The NASC fusion cell members from across the public and private sectors having been working hard to combat investment scams.
Quotes attributable to Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services, Stephen Jones
“Scammers are using all the tricks in the bag to con consumers – offering attractive investment returns, using fake ACNs and claiming to have ASIC endorsement. It’s no surprise that even to the discerning eye these scam websites trick consumers”.
“We are making some serious headway in disrupting investment scams. ASIC’s website take down service is removing around 20 dodgy websites a day. In partnership with the ongoing work of the NASC’s investment scam fusion cell, we are helping protect Australians from online scams, making dodgy investments, and losing hard earned savings”.
“The good news – our anti‑scams initiatives are working. We’re beginning to see a trend of more reporting due to better awareness, and less financial losses. The NASC has reported a decline in losses to investment scams over the last quarter. This is a trend we’d like to see continue – but we all must stay vigilant”.