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Australian investment scams already caused $18m losses in 2019

Maya Mandzikasvili | Jun. 13, 2019
Australian investment scams already caused $18m losses in 2019

June 13, 2019, | AtoZMarkets - The Australian research agency, Scamwatch, reports, that Australian investment scams have already caused $18m losses in the first five months of 2019.

Scamwatch analysis of Australian investment scams in a brief

Scamwatch, which is run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), provides information to consumers and small businesses about how to recognize, avoid and report scams. As the agency reports, in May 2019, the numbers of the losses due to investment fraud were almost similar to the April 2019 data:

  • $4.17 million in April
  • $4.24 million  in May

Scamwatch announced that last month, Australian citizens submitted 436 reports about investment frauds. As the agency outlined, overall, the number of complaints submitted in the period of the January-May 2019 has reached 1956. The most active in submitting reports about fraudulent investment schemes were people between 25 to 44 years of age. Notable, that Australian citizens older than 65 reported the biggest losses.

Australian investment scams in 2018

The majority of investment scams, according to the Scamwatch data, still involve traditional investment markets like stocks, real estate or commodities. As the agency explained, in most of the cases,  scammers cold call victims claiming to be a stockbroker or investment portfolio manager and offer a ‘hot tip’ or inside information on a stock or asset that is supposedly about to go up significantly in value. Two other types of investments where fraudsters succeed are cryptocurrency trading and binary options. Considering that binary options, due to their risky nature are banned permanently by major European regulators, the Australian authority might take similar measures.

According to the previous agency research results, in 2018, Australians submitted 3508 reports in total. All of the complaints were related to investment scams and reported losses of $38.85 million. July was the month with the biggest amount of losses that year ($6 million). In 2017, the number of losses due to the similar fraud schemes reached more than $31 million.

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