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High alert as personal accounts circled in sophisticated fraud

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has issued a warning to consumers over scammers pretending to be from ASIC.

ASIC has alerted Australians to be aware of scammers impersonating ASIC representatives in connection with an overseas trading platform.

Claiming to be from Luxembourg Offshore Banking (or LUXOSB Limited), the scammers claim to offer an investment program called ExpertKonek for an online trading platform across stocks, foreign exchange, cryptocurrencies and indices markets.

Victims are asked to activate their “personal trading account” through providing proof of ID, such as photocopies of passports or address-stamped utility bills.

ASIC has urged any consumer who believes they have been contacted in these circumstances to cease communication and block the sender.

“These are sophisticated scams convincing people to part with their money and provide personal information,” warned ASIC commissioner Sean Hughes.

“The public need to be extremely cautious of these scams and contact their financial institution if they believe their money may be at risk.”

Notice of the LUXOSB Limited scam follows a warning issued by ASIC earlier in 2018 regarding offshore cold-calling investment scams

Speaking to investors, ASIC labeled investment scam as the “most lucrative method of fraud” and said consumers should be on high alert.

“Offshore cold-calling is the most common type of investment scam, where a compelling investment offer is delivered by someone who will then back up the pitch with a slick website, fake research and insistent follow-up calls,” ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell said at the time.

According to the ACCC’s Scamwatch, there have been 3,266 reports of investment scams over the year to date, totaling $37,061,469 in losses.

Steps to protect your savings  

ASIC recommends that consumers take the following steps if they suspect they have been contacted by scammers:

  • Check the ASIC website to see if the company has an Australian Financial Services licence and do not deal with those that are not licensed
  • Check the list on ASIC’s MoneySmart website of companies and individuals that are not licensed by ASIC. If the company that contacted you is on this list, do not deal with them
  • Do not send money or give out your personal details to someone you do not know and trust
  • If you’ve provided your bank account and/or credit card details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately
  • Remember that government departments and legitimate financial institutions would never ask you for your personal details via unsolicited contact
High alert as personal accounts circled in sophisticated fraud
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