Financial Advice | Software | Wealth Creation

Is it a scam?

Is it a scam?

New data released from Scamwatch Australia has reinforced the sophistication and rapidly growing number of scams each year in Australia – which has caused a loss of over $851 million1 in total in 2020 – $328 million of which related to investment scams. It is important to remain vigilant and contact your Adviser before you invest your retirement savings in a new product or service.  

What does the data reported to Scamwatch Australia tell us?

During 2020, the average amount of money lost to scams increased by 23%. Scammers have become more sophisticated in their approach, claiming to be from well-known investment organisations or government bodies, with the aim of extracting personal information from an individual.

Investment scams have caused the most financial harm to the Australian population throughout 2020 resulting in $328 million lost. Advancements in technology and software design allow scammers to recreate websites to look identical to an actual organisation’s site. It is becoming increasingly difficult to identify what is a scam and what isn’t.

Older Australians (65+) are at more at risk of being approached by scammers as the scammers believe this age group to have more accumulated wealth.

The top contact methods used by scammers include:

  • phone (47.7%)
  • email (22%)
  • text message (15%)
  • internet (6.3%)
  • social networking (4.5%)2

Scammers often inject a sense of urgency into their messaging, propose threats (particularly with tax scams), and request personal and banking information.

What should you do if you suspect a scam?

If someone attempts to scam you, there are several things you can do:

  • Report the scam to Scamwatch Australia – or ReportCyber – Report | immediately.
  • Do not provide any personal information that will allow a scammer to impersonate and retrieve your funds.
  • Do not click on links you have received via text or email that have a substantial number of letters and numbers.
  • If you have lost money to a scam, contact your financial institution immediately.
  • If you have provided personal information and you are concerned your identity may be compromised, contact IDCARE for free support on 1800 595 160.
  • Consider contacting the organisation the suspected scammer claims to work for – the organisation may be able to confirm your suspicions.

Do not feel embarrassed or ashamed if you have been scammed. Financial scams are now crimes which are occurring regularly! Scams are becoming very sophisticated and professional, and even experienced investors have lost money to scams. It is becoming increasingly important to discuss the risk of scams with family, friends and peers.

How can we help?

To assist with identifying if you are being approached by a scammer, contact MB+M on 5821 9177.

  1. ACCC Media Release 7 June 2021
  2. Scamwatch Australia Targeting scams report 2020

Published 21 November 2021.
The information provided in this article is general in nature only and does not constitute financial advice.