Over the last year 105,000 Australians have fallen victim to financial scams, collectively losing $85 million to fraudsters – an average of $26,408 per person. This represents a 15% rise in the incidence of scams over the previous year. But these figures are believed to be the tip of the iceberg because many people are too embarrassed to report being stung by fraudsters.
The bottom line is that none of us are immune, so it pays to know the warning signs.
Typically, investment and financial scams promise high, quick returns and even tax-free benefits. Expect offers of big rewards for a small upfront payment coupled with discounts for early bird investors that create a sense of urgency.
Adding to the credibility of the scam, you may be given phone numbers for referees. Disregard these. The so-called referees are likely to be part of the scam network.