Commissioner's blog: Sea container investments not so water-tight
If you’ve seen an advert promising big returns on an investment in shipping containers, then our advice is to consider whether it may be a scam or Ponzi scheme.
WA ScamNet is aware of $800,000 of losses in Western Australia so far to a venture called Pacific Tycoon, which advertises investments in shipping containers and promises returns of up to 20 per cent when they lease it out on your behalf.
The scheme is predicted to be successful because cargo shipment companies regularly have urgent requirements for extra containers and will pay premium prices.
While victims claim they initially do receive dividends, this slowly reduces significantly. Pacific Tycoon continues to encourage further investment before eventually stopping all communication.
Despite us issuing an earlier warning about this venture, victims are still reporting large losses and are unable to contact the company nor take legal action to recover the funds.
All indications point to Pacific Tycoon being a Ponzi scheme – a form of fraud involving a non-existent business that continues before initial investors are given dividends using the start-up money paid by those who join the bogus scheme later on.
When considering all investment ‘opportunities’, ask yourself:
- Is the business registered with the Australian Securities Investment Commissioner (ASIC)?
- How long has the company been around?
- Have you spoken to a financial adviser about the proposal?
- Can you speak to clients who have made money using this method?
- If you were to lose money investing in this scheme, can you afford that?
Be aware that if an investment scheme turns out to be a web-based fraud by overseas criminals, authorities in Australia may not have the resources, appropriate international powers or law enforcement connections to find those responsible or trace your money.
For further information about this scam, visit: www.scamnet.wa.gov.au and search ‘sea container investment schemes’. If you have lost money in this way, please report it to WA ScamNet on 1300 30 40 54 or email@example.com
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