The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has warned that scammers are using its name and logo to issue fake bond documents to investors, claiming that ASIC will “guarantee” the bonds.
According to ASIC, the scammers target overseas residents and pretend to be Australian financial services (AFS) licensees. They offer the investment through unsolicited telephone calls, emails, or other means such as social media and provide documents with the corporate regulator's logo, holding out that it will guarantee the relevant investments.
However, the regulator clarified that it will never provide a guarantee on investments nor authorise its logo to be attached to investment materials.
“If you receive an investment offer which claims to be guaranteed by ASIC, do not deal with the entity,” ASIC said in a statement.
For those who think they were scammed, ASIC suggests:
- Avoiding sending more money;
- Watching out for secondary scams or money recovery services that may offer to help get the money back for a fee;
- Contacting IDCARE, a free government-funded service for Australian residents, helping to develop a specific response plan;
- Reporting the scam to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) through Scamwatch and the Australian Cyber Security Centre via ReportCyber; and
- Reporting to ASIC if its logo is on the promotional materials of companies or financial products, including the link to the website or screenshot in the report.
“Your report may disrupt the scammers and will assist us in issuing a warning, which will hopefully help others to avoid it. Unfortunately, ASIC cannot help you get your money back,” the corporate watchdog said.