ASIC is limited in its ability to protect brokers against online scammers, admits Brett Bassett, the regulator’s senior executive leader – and brokers are best advised to take the reins then it comes to protecting themselves and their business.
“The sophistication of some of these fraudsters…they, for all intents and purposes have the legitimacy of Australian credit licences, Australian financial services licensee, or an Australian credit representative. They use scripts to give them the air of legitimacy, the websites they use are often very, very sophisticated and the terminology they use may lead people who are not necessarily dealing with that type of person on a daily basis to believe that they are… legitimate,” Bassett tells Broker TV.
“The ability for [scammers] to pose as somebody that they aren’t really does limit our ability take action in some instances.”
Bassett cites a recent example where fraudsters believed to be based overseas stole the identity of a legitimate mortgage broking firm, as well as the identities of several employees and used them to create a false website.
“That’s a clear example where you’ve got mortgage brokers who are really the target to some extent of some scams,” says Bassett.
His advice to brokers, aside from watching out for over spruiking or unsolicited cold calling, is to be vigilant about their own online presence and encourage clients to always verify brokers’ qualifications and licenses.
To hear more of Bassett’s advice, watch the video by clicking here.