New warning about serious investment fraud

by Terry Hayes

The Minister for Home Affairs Jason Clare has urged Australians to protect themselves against the growing threat of serious and organised investment fraud. The Minister released a new report from the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) and Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) which provides a national picture of the nature and threat of serious and organised investment fraud in Australia.

Mr Clare said the report indicates that more than 2,600 Australians may have lost more than $113m to serious and organised investment fraud in the last 5 years. That number could be even higher because people tend not to report this kind of crime, he said. The targets of this type of crime are primarily Australian men, aged over 50, usually highly educated (and have high levels of financial literacy), and they are likely to manage their own super.

This is what happens. The criminal syndicate cold calls the investor, refers them to a flash website and sends them a brochure promising strong investment returns. After taking their money, they string them along for months or even years and then the money disappears. "People's entire life savings are stolen by criminals with the click of a mouse. This type of crime destroys wealth and destroys lives. It's also very difficult to stop", the Minister said.

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