The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) wants you to remain vigilant about out-of-the-blue superannuation offers after financial losses due to investment scams doubled from $12.2 million to $24.4 million in the last year.
The ACCC says investment scams are now a greater problem than dating and romance scams.
“The low interest rate environment has led to those semi-retired or retired searching for investments with higher returns, and scammers are preying on them,” deputy chair of the ACCC, Delia Rickard tells the Sydney Morning Herald.
She says that because a lot of the offers don’t appear to be in the ‘too good to be true’ category, many people think they are a good option. However, investment scams reported totalled more than $41 million in 2015, and approximately $6.3 million of that was lost to victims aged 55 years or older.
Investment scams include superannuation schemes, managed funds, the sale or purchase of shares or property, and new business ventures.
“While the number of reports we received are spread across all age groups, it is middle aged and older Australians who are reporting the highest losses,” Rickard says.
She says before you part with your money you should do your own research on the investment company and confirm it has an Australian Financial Services Licence on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s MoneySmart website.
Top tips for protecting yourself against investment scams:
- Don’t let anyone pressure you into making decisions about your money or investments
- Only invest your money with a managed fund or other investment that is licensed by ASIC and check the MoneySmart website
- Do not send your money overseas for an investment offer that has come out of the blue — no matter how attractive or professional it appears.