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ACCC: Australians are losing $4.3 million to investment scams per month

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has issued its Scamwatch report for the first half of 2018, which marks a troubling rise in investment scams. The report reveals that Australians are collectively losing $4.3 million a month to scams in the sphere of cryptocurrency, binary options trading, as well as traditional investment markets like stocks, real estate and commodities

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Furthermore, the Scamwatch report shows that more than $26 million has been lost to investment frauds in 2018 in Australia, which is 84% of the total losses recorded in 2017. This represents an average month on month increase of 117 % in losses compared to last year. A worrisome trend.

 

"Last year, Australians reported they lost $64.6 million to investment scams to Scamwatch and the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN),” commented ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard. “If the current trend continues, combined losses reported to Scamwatch and ACORN in 2018 could be in excess of $100 million," she added.

 

More often scammers cold call victims claiming to be a representative of a forex or binary options brokerage, crypto exchange or investment portfolio manager. They usually offer some ‘hot tips’ or inside information on a given financial instrument and claim this is a low-risk investment that will provide quick and high returns.

 

Any claims like 'risk-free investment', ‘low risk, high return’, 'be a millionaire in three years', or 'get-rich quick' are also easy tells that you’re dealing with a scammer,” further warns Rickard. She advises investors to start by visiting ASIC’s MoneySmart website, which offers a step-by-step investment guide, and to check the regulator’s black list before they deposit any money. That being said, you can also check out our list of brokers regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is an independent statutory authority whose role is to protect consumer rights, business rights and obligations, to perform industry regulation and prevent illegal anti-competitive behavior. In doing so, ACCC works closely with ASIC and ACORN. The Commission regularly issues scam reports and runs a website, in which provides information to consumers and small businesses about how to recognise, avoid and report different types of scams.

TAGS: ACCC  Australia  scam  crypto  binary options 
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