At Regional Australia Bank, we understand that financial security is paramount to our community members. Unfortunately, investment scams are on the rise, and it's vital to stay informed and vigilant to help safeguard your finances. According to Scamwatch, Australians lose more money to investment scams than any other type, and we're here to help you recognise the red flags to potentially protecting your wealth.
The Allure of Investment Scams
Investment scams can promise enticing returns, but their true aim is to attempt to steal your money. These scams can be deceptive and difficult to spot, making it even more essential to remain cautious. Don't let the promise of quick riches or higher interest rates lure you into losing your life savings to a scheme that's too good to be true.
Scammers can employ convincing marketing and innovative technology to make their investments appear irresistible. They can dangle the prospect of significant payouts with minimal risk and can frequently employ pressure tactics to push you into making hasty decisions, attempting to blindside you from their ultimate goal of taking your money.
Scammers may claim to work on behalf of well-known reputable financial institutions or pretend to be stockbrokers or investment advisors providing fake documentation to convince you into believing the opportunity is real.
Warning Signs: How to Spot an Investment Scam
Fake Endorsements: Be cautious of fake news stories or ads claiming that a celebrity endorses the scheme for making substantial profits.
Unusual Request for Payment: Asking for payments to be made to multiple accounts or to crypto-currency.
High Interest Rates: Higher rates than you when shopping around with reputable financial institutions.
Online Contacts: If someone you've never met in person starts pressuring you to invest, exercise caution.
Over-the-Top Promises: Investment scams often come with emails, websites, or ads featuring exaggerated testimonials and unrealistic promises of substantial returns.
High Pressure Tactics: Scammers rush you to act swiftly, emphasizing that you might "miss out" if you don't.
Lack of Licensing: If the adviser guiding you claims they don't need an Australian financial services (AFS) license, consider it a warning sign.
Recruitment Scheme: When you're asked to recruit friends and family to earn a commission, be cautious.
Protecting your Finances: Steps to Take
- Pause and Verify: Always take a moment to stop, think, and check before acting. Investment scams often pressure you to make quick decisions. Don't let them rush you into making a regrettable choice.
- Seek Professional Guidance: Get independent legal advice or financial advice from a financial advisor registered with ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission).
Due Diligence: Ensure you know the people and companies you're dealing with. Verify that the company or website is not listed on the International Organisation of Securities Commission's (IOSCO) investor alerts.
- Additional Checks: Confirm that the person you're dealing with works for the organisation they claim to represent using contact details you found independently. Ensure anyone selling you a financial or investment product has an AFS licence. Check the company's address and contact details on publicly listed directories. When evaluating share offers, be cautious if the price is significantly below market value. If shares are said to be pre-initial public offering (IPO), exercise even more caution. Examine when the domain name was registered, especially for new websites of existing companies.
We are here to help
At Regional Australia Bank, your financial security is our top priority, and we're committed to providing you with the knowledge and resources to help protect your wealth.
If you think you have been scammed you should contact us immediately at 132 067 or visit your local branch.
For more information about scams you can visit ACCC Scamwatch