Protect yourself from investment scams

According to Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) statistics, every year Australians lose more money to investment scams than any other type of scam. Investment scams normally appear out of the blue and promise very high returns with little to no risk. In this case the old saying is correct – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Common types of investment scams can include:

      • Fake cryptocurrency
      • Unsolicited calls with investment opportunities
      • Romance baiting
      • Fake celebrity endorsements
      • Ponzi schemes
      • Superannuation theft.

In all cases, money spent in an investment scam never goes to a real investment, it goes straight into a scammer’s bank account.

For up-to-date information on current scams in Australia, you can visit scamwatch.gov.au.

Always remember

Hand halt

Pause

Don’t invest straight away. Stop and think about the investment opportunity and how legitimate it is. 

Look up

Review

Do your research. Are you confident that the company or person providing you financial advice is real?

Tip: You can look at ASIC’s financial advisers register or their list of companies you should not deal with as a good starting point.

Person with a question

Ask

If you’re still unsure, show a family member, friend or even a financial advisor who you know and trust and ask for their opinion before handing your money over.

How can I recognise an investment scam? 

If someone contacts you out of the blue to offer you financial advice or a new investment opportunity be wary as this is most likely a scam. Keeping an eye out for the following could help you to determine that it may be a scam. 

Scammers might:

      • contact you repeatedly for various investment opportunities
      • promise large returns on your investment with little to no risk
      • use high-pressure tactics to encourage you to act quickly
      • use fake celebrity-endorsements to make the investment more appealing
      • ask you to deposit funds into multiple different accounts.

How do I protect myself?

There are a few simple things you can do to identify, avoid and protect yourself from falling victim to investment scams. 

Remember to:

      • not engage in unsolicited phone calls offering you financial advice
      • always do your research before investing money, especially if it sounds too good to be true
      • never feel pressured into making a decision – even if you are given an urgent deadline or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
      • check if the financial advisor who is offering you financial advice is registered via the ASIC financial advisers register
      • check ASIC’s list of companies you should not deal with

I think I’ve been scammed, what should I do? 

If you think you’ve been scammed and potentially lost money or given personal banking information to someone you should not have, please contact our friendly customer service team immediately on 1300 654 822 and they will assist you.