Significant rise in investment scams Important information
9 Aug 2019
We are seeing a significant increase in investment scams, largely with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple.
This is consistent across the industry, with the ACCC reporting a loss of over 12 million dollars to investment scams last month alone.
However, we don’t want to stop you from purchasing Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrencies. We just want to help you identify if you are truly purchasing cryptocurrencies or being scammed!
So, how do these scams work?
Investment scams can come to you via a phone call, email, Facebook or other social media platforms and often use fake celebrity endorsements.
They are usually so professional, slick and believable that it can be hard to tell them apart from genuine investment opportunities.
To get you to give them your money, a scammer may tell you they're offering:
- Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that will give you unrealistically high and quick returns.
- Investment expertise by remotely accessing your computer to use their ‘trading platform’.
What the scammer is actually doing:
- Using a fake ‘trading platform’ and artificially manipulating their prices/your balance to represent gains initially, then eventually deducting all of your funds. So, you may never know you’ve been scammed!
- Directing your funds elsewhere from the start.
How can you protect yourself?
- Be suspicious of anyone (including ads, websites or emails) offering you easy money.
- Do your own research on the company and take the time to seek independent professional or legal advice.
- Be wary of anyone requesting remote access to your computer. It's likely to be a scam!
- Purchase cryptocurrencies directly through a trusted exchange. Comparison website Finder offer some good advice on how to buy Bitcoin safely.
- Read up on investment scams at scamwatch.gov.au.
- Talk to us! We're constantly trying to prevent scams and protect your money, so we're happy to give our opinion on whether it’s safe before you commit. But remember, we can’t give you financial advice.
If you think you have been the victim of an investment scam, you should:
- Contact us immediately on (08) 8202 7777
- Report it to ASIC and the police via cyber.gov.au
- Stop sending money to the company! Be wary of secondary scams or offers to recover your money.
Find out more tips on how to protect yourself from scams.