By Mina Martin
ASIC has unveiled a new scam website takedown capability that eliminates or restricts access to deceptive and malicious websites on the internet, marking a pivotal expansion of a three-week trial conducted by the corporate regulator in 2022.
Since July, ASIC has initiated takedowns of 2,500-plus investment scam and phishing websites, including the removal of 2,100 fraudulent sites and the ongoing processes to take down more than 400 additional sites.
Speaking at a press conference, ASIC Deputy Chair Sarah Court (pictured above) emphasised the significance of the initiative.
“We recognise that scammers rely on technology to perpetrate investment scams,” Court said. “This includes using sophisticated websites to trick Australians into believing they are making genuine investments. Our website takedown service helps us identify and disrupt investment scam and phishing websites from causing further harm to Australians.”
ASIC has funding dedicated to improving its disruption initiatives aimed at combating investment scams. This includes enlisting a third party to remove investment scam and phishing websites.
ASIC’s new investment scam and phishing website takedown capability forms part of the government’s Fighting Scams initiative, which aims to disrupt scams and safeguard Australians from financial harm.
The initiative also supports the work of National Anti-Scams Centre (NASC), which began operations on July 1, to coordinate efforts between the government, law enforcement agencies, and the private sector to combat various scams.
The scam websites targeted by ASIC include fake investment platforms, crypto-asset scams, and imposter scams which pose as legitimate financial service businesses.
Imposter scams can be particularly tricky to detect, and Australians are urged to verify the legitimacy of businesses by using publicly listed phone numbers if in doubt.
“All Australians should approach websites that promote guaranteed, quick, low-risk, and very high-returns with caution,” Court said. “If an investment opportunity seems too good to be true, it almost certainly is.”
Find out more about ASIC’s website takedown capability by visiting the investment scam website takedown capability page.
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