According to Scamwatch and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Australians are set to lose a record $532 million to scams in 2019, so we’ve put together a list of companies you should not deal with to avoid being scammed.
This year’s National Scams Awareness week theme, “Too Smart to Be Scammed”, encourages consumers to check their scams knowledge and to increase their protection and detection skills.
Companies To Avoid
Scamwatch is urging consumers to check ASIC’s list of companies you should not deal with. Scams can originate from both companies operating overseas and in Australia. If you receive a call or email from a company on this list, do not deal with them.
Even if a company or individual is not listed as unlicensed by ASIC, it’s prudent to continue researching the company and seek advise from a financial advisor before investing.
The businesses listed below have made unsolicited calls and emails to Australians and do not hold a current Australian financial services (AFS) licence or Australian credit licence from ASIC. Although new names are added as quickly as possible, this is not a comprehensive list.
Names recently added to the list (most recent at the top):
- Advanced Financial Union Ltd
- Capital Management Limited
- Elliot & Jones
- Swift Loan Services
- Tube Global Marketing (also known as MGM Markets)
- Alpha Financial Group
- Harding and Company Advisors
- FBC Asia Limited
- All Media EOOD (also known as Brokerz Limited)
You can check the latest list of unlicensed companies on the Moneysmart website.
Tips to Help Identify Email Scammers
Our advice to help you identify potential email scams includes:
- The Email Doesn’t Address You Directly: “It uses ‘Dear Customer’ or ‘Hi’
- Bad Grammar: poor spelling and grammar are give-aways
- Distorted Images: Are the images blurred or shabby?
- Instructions to Click a Link: Hover over the link to see where it goes
- Weird Origins: Is the email coming from HotMail, Gmail or non-Australian domain?
- A Sense of Urgency: Is it rushing you to do something?
No One Is Too Smart to Be Scammed
Many people believe that they are too smart to fall for a scam, however, scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and it’s this sense of consumer confidence that scammers target.
According to ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard, scammers have become professional businesses dedicated to ripping us off.
“They have call centres with convincing scripts, staff training programs, and corporate performance indicators their ’employees’ need to meet”.
She advises to be vigilant on social media, when online shopping and when answering the phone. Never give cold callers your personal and banking details or remote access to your computer, no matter who they say they are.
“Remember, anyone could fall victim and no one is ‘too smart to be scammed’. Always ask yourself, ‘could this be a scam?’ and if you’re ever in doubt, decline the contact or hang up the phone; it’s often the safest option,” Ms Rickard said.
The ACCC has also produced a series of videos with tips and tricks on how to spot a scam and to test people’s awareness of scams. You can also find the full series on YouTube.