Is this a scam?

Smart scammers try to make themselves appear legitimate as a way to suck you in. Before doing anything check the ASIC list of companies you should not deal with.

Smart scammers try to make themselves appear legitimate as a way to suck you in. They’ll use official sounding names, even names that are very similar to real companies.

In fact I had some scammers copy my e-mail newsletter template to send their spam. So their message looked very legitimate.

The Australian regulator, ASIC have compiled a very useful list of companies you should not deal with. It includes a list of official sounding overseas investment regulators and exchanges that are actually fake.

If you’ve been contacted with an offer that seems attractive:

  1. Get all of their contact details including registered business name, website address, physical address and phone number.
  2. Ask them to post a hard copy of their Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Financial Services Guide (FSG). Don’t give them your e-mail address.
  3. Insist you will do nothing right now and instead will call them back after considering the offer.
  4. Check their business name  and ABN are legitimate using the ABN Lookup tool and ASIC registers
  5. Check the ASIC list of companies you should not deal with
  6. Report the scam to ASIC

Scammers will of course provide very serious resistance to steps 1 through 3 so that alone could be a big indicator to go no further.

I also recommend you read my article about protecting yourself from identity theft.

Author: Matt Hern

Certified Financial Planner professional, Matt Hern has three times been awarded as one of Australia's Top 50 Financial Planners by The Australian Financial Review Smart Investor. He is passionate about guiding you on the right financial choices to achieve what you really want. Matt Hern is an Authorised Representative of Charter Financial Planning Limited AFSL 234665. All information is general advice only.

3 thoughts on “Is this a scam?”

  1. This is excellent advice, and I’m guessing in most cases you won’t even have to go past points 1 to 3. This won’t put the scammers out of business, but it will probably convince them to put you in the “too hard” basket, so they’ll leave you alone. It’s like those big bright red steering wheel locks, which don’t deter thieves from breaking into cars, but they deter them from breaking into YOURS.

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