Consumer Affairs Victoria is urging people to avoid dodgy investment opportunities, with Australian Competition & Consumer Commission figures revealing Victorians lost more than $6.4 million to investment scammers last year.
Nationally, Australians reported losses of more than $38 million to investment scams in 2018, making it the most financially damaging scam to fall victim to.
Scammers often target older people who may have access to savings or superannuation. In one case, a Victorian retiree was pressured into investing more than $20,000 in Bitcoin, only for the scammers to gain access to her trading account and drain all the funds.
We are also warning Victorians to be wary of investment seminars that feature motivational speakers, investment experts, or self-made millionaires who provide so-called expert advice on investing. Promoters make money by charging attendance fees, selling reports or books at inflated prices, and convincing attendees to purchase investments and property.
Consumer Affairs Victoria is partnering with Crime Stoppers Victoria to deliver education and warning messages across the state, helping Victorians avoid investing money on offers that sound too good to be true.
Protect yourself from investment scams with these tips:
- Be suspicious of investment opportunities that promise a high return with little or no risk.
- Be wary of anyone who pressures you into making investment decisions, and never commit to any investment at a seminar.
- Do not give your details to an unsolicited caller or reply to emails offering financial advice or investment opportunities.
For more information, visit our Scam Savvy page.
For scams information in other languages, view our Other languages section.
If you know of any suspicious behaviour or activity, you can submit your report confidentially to Crime Stoppers Victoria by calling 1800 333 000.