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IF YOU receive a phone call or
email from someone you don't
know offering you a great invest-
ment opportunity, be very wary -- it
may be a scammer trying to take your
Before you invest it is important to
check the list of companies you should
not deal with on www.moneysmart.
Many scams come from overseas.
The scammers target Australians
because Australian authorities don't
have international jurisdiction to pros-
But the Australian Securities and
Investments Commission (ASIC) can
warn other people about the scam and
notify the authorities in the scammer's
Questions to ask
Ask the person some questions to
check their legitimacy:
What's your name and what com-
pany do you represent?
Who owns your company?
Does your company have an
Australian Financial Services
licence and what is the licence
What's your address and phone
number? (then double check in
the Yellow Pages as sometimes
scammers try to imitate legitimate
Greg Medcraft tells
us how to avoid the
If they avoid answering, it's prob-
ably a scam. Hang up the phone, don't
respond to the email and stop dealing
with the person.
If they answer the questions, you
still need to do some checks.
Check if their name is on the
MoneySmart list of unlicensed over-
seas companies -- though remember
it's not a complete list and just because
a name isn't there doesn't mean they
SCAMMERS use cle
to reel you in. The oefully designed
genuine but are caring away your
to trick you into givdetails.
money or personal cam if the
doesn't have an A
es licence or
Financial Serviceneed one;
says they don't n
s and tries to
rings many timesphone;
keep you on the
says you must dut on the deal;
or you'll miss ou
f or claims to
uses the name oth a reputable
be associated wigain credibility;
organisation to g
offers you glossyr directs you
or certificates, ore.
to a slick website Remember,
s and profes-
glossy brochuresebsites are not
sional looking weoffer is a good
evidence that anven a real deal.
investment or ev
are legitimate. Always check their
licence number if they claim to have
one. Go to 'Check ASIC lists' on the
Overseas operators can be regu-
lated in their own country.
Check on the International
Organisation of Securities
Commissions website, www.iosco.
org. Then you can contact the over-
seas regulator or search its website
to see if the company is registered or
licensed by them.
How ASIC can help
ASIC wants you to report all
investment scams. Even if we can't
prosecute the scammers, we may be
able to warn other people.
Generally, ASIC will not be
able to help get your money back
if you've sent it overseas, as the
overseas company is outside ASIC's
But it's important to report scams
to help stop them spreading -- go to
www.moneysmart.gov.au for how
to report a scam. If you prevent one
person from becoming a scam victim,
you're doing your bit to stop scams.
Email ASIC at ADFcolumn@asic.gov.au
with topics that interest you
Photo: LAC Bill Solomou
July 19, 2012
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