ANZ warns of increasing investment scams

Strategies to dodge scam traps revealed

ANZ warns of increasing investment scams


By Mina Martin

As investment scams surge, claiming more than half of Australian scam reports in 2023, ANZ is cautioning customers against seemingly lucrative but risky opportunities.

The growing threat of investment scams

Investment scams have emerged as the most significant financial threat to Australians, accounting for more than 60% of scams reported to Scamwatch in 2023.

These scams often involve unsolicited contact from individuals claiming to offer a “once in a lifetime” investment opportunity, promising high returns with little to no risk.

ANZ’s response to investment scams

Ben White, ANZ’s senior manager of customer protection operations, highlighted the sophistication of these scams, which frequently impersonate reputable organisations to gain victims’ trust.

“The scammers sound knowledgeable and will present facts, legitimate-looking websites and emails and detailed financial presentations,” White said. “Generally, victims are encouraged to invest large sums of money, and this is accompanied by a sense of urgency, with the guarantee of quick investment returns.”

How to protect yourself

ANZ offers several tips to help customers safeguard themselves against investment scams:

  • exercise caution with any unsolicited communication via social media, email, text, or phone calls
  • take a moment to question any online request for money, especially if the transaction seems out of the ordinary
  • verify contact details against those on official company websites and communicate through official channels
  • use two-factor authentication and robust passwords to secure email accounts
  • limit sharing email addresses online and use separate accounts for personal and business purposes to minimize spam and malicious emails

Scamwatch further recommends seeking independent legal or financial advice from an advisor registered with ASIC, conducting thorough research to verify the legitimacy of the entities they are dealing with, and ensuring the company or website is not listed in the International Organization of Securities Commission’s investor alerts.

With Australians losing around $480 million to scams in 2023, awareness and education on scam prevention are more crucial than ever.

“While people are becoming increasingly educated on what to watch out for, the old adage remains true – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” White said.

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