23 July 2024
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Take care investment scam merchants are targeting you!

Peter Switzer
22 August 2022

Warnings are out for aspirational money-makers that a sophisticated mob of overseas scam merchants have been attracting investors to fake investment websites.

And the AFR says that after targeting unsuspecting investors in Britain, Europe and Canada, their new focus is Australia.

The masterminds behind these scams are luring investors in with promises that the products are stable, guaranteed and suitable for the weary investor/saver who fears the uncertainty of the stock market, generally.

Using Google Adwords, the cyber con artists have set up many dodgy financial websites that use the right kind of wording and terms to attract unsophisticated investors.

The Australian Financial Review has found a syndicate operating investment scams that have already worked their way through and are increasing its attention on Australia. The fraudsters manipulate Google results so scam investment opportunities appear prominently for search users.

“As of late last month, Google AdWords, the company’s paid search advertising platform, delivered several scam websites to users searching for terms such as Australian bonds, high-yield investments and fixed bond rates,” The AFR’s research team has revealed. “Those websites included AusBond-Trust, Au-Investor and Millennium Bonds. The websites are often fake comparison services where users hand over contact information, and act as lead generation for scammers to follow up by email and phone.”

Here are my tips to avoid these financial fraudsters:

  1. If any deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
  2. If you’ve never heard of the website, forget it.
  3. If it’s a well-known bank name, don’t do anything online until you are sure it’s the real McCoy. One 2GB listener put hundreds of thousands of dollars into what he thought was a CBA fixed deposit product but it was a fake website that the CBA did not know about.
  4. If the website/business is registered in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, avoid it like the plague.
  5. If the trading name is London Choice Investments SL, then dump any idea of reading any further.
  6. If it’s trying to flog anything that sounds like AusBondTrust, Au-Investor and Millennium Bonds, shut the site down.
  7. And if the messages are asking you to sign up to work with stockbrokers from unknown businesses then suspect a rat!

These financial fraudsters are pretty smart, but if they ask you to hand over too much info and too much money, then whatever you do, don’t play ball.

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