Organised crime groups are targeting the retirement savings of elderly Territorians with sophisticated fraud operations.
Organised crime groups are targeting the retirement savings of elderly Territorians with sophisticated fraud operations .
Typically based overseas, the fraudsters initiate contact over the phone and use an array of persuasive techniques to build trust with victims, before enticing them to transfer funds into bogus investments.
Christopher Fulton*, a 48 year old Territorian lost over $40,000 when he fell victim to a sophisticated fraud operation. Read about his case.
Experienced and inexperienced investors alike are at risk. Authorities confirm that more than 2,600 mainly elderly Australians have fallen victim to the fraud (as at June, 2012). The average individual loss is around $42,348, but losses range from $35,000 to $4 million.
Total losses are believed to be higher than the reported $113 million to date, because many victims are unwilling or too embarrassed to report their loss.
To combat the fraud, the Australian Crime Commission Board has established a high-level taskforce involving key Government agencies and police bodies.
For more information, visit www.moneysmart.gov.au or call 1300 300 630.
Protect yourself against investment fraud
- Always seek independent financial advice before making an investment.
- Alert family and friends to this fraud, especially anyone who may have savings to invest.
- Report suspected fraud to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission by visiting www.moneysmart.gov.au, calling 1300 300 630, or speak to your local police. Any information such as company name, location and contact details will assist with subsequent investigations.
- Hang up on unsolicited telephone calls offering overseas investments.
- Check any company you are discussing investments with has a valid Australian Financial Services Licence at www.moneysmart.gov.au
- Visit www.moneysmart.gov.au or call 1300 300 630 for further information.
Find out more from the NT Government, Department of Justice Consumer Affairs
*Name has been changed to protect the victim's identity.