Investment scammer targeting regional West Aussies
Western Australians are warned to be on high alert for unsolicited SMS or social-media messages urging them to inject money into a fraudulent scheme disguised as an investment opportunity.
Consumer Protection is aware of an investment scam circulating in the WA community that claims almost $22 million can be unlocked from an international account if the recipient pays part of the $500,000 required in fees and taxes to release the money.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Penny Lipscombe said the scammer seemed to be targeting those living in regional WA.
“This scam contains an attachment claiming to be a certificate from the Arab Monetary Fund authorising the funds to be transferred,” Ms Lipscombe said.
“Our investigations reveal that while this is a legitimate organisation, it doesn’t actually perform this kind of function.
“You should always be suspicious if you receive unsolicited calls or messages offering opportunities for investment.
“If someone’s telling you about a way to make easy, fast money and putting significant pressure on you to invest big with the promise of high returns, ask yourself ‘is it too good to be true?’ and discuss the offer with someone you trust.”
- Carry out thorough research before investing money and get independent financial advice from a licensed financial advisor.
- If provided with documentation always verify it with the legitimate entities.
- Visit Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s MoneySmart website for financial advice: https://moneysmart.gov.au/ and for a list of companies you shouldn’t deal with use: https://moneysmart.gov.au/companies-you-should-not-deal-with
- To see if someone you’re dealing with has an Australian Financial Services Licence check ASIC’s professional registers: https://asic.gov.au/online-services/search-asics-registers/professional-registers/
- For help to verify investment offers and report investment scams contact WA ScamNet on 1300 304 054. If you’ve lost money use the 'report a scam' online form.
Images of the redacted messages and fake certificate below. Higher-resolution images available by request.
Media Contact: Frankie Pennington, (08) 6552 9410 / 0409 090 407
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