Investment scams are growing in volume and sophistication which is costing Australians more than $1 billion a year as reported by Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
An investment scam may be presented to you through social media, website, email, phone, or text message with a 'high return and low risk' investment return. The scammer often impersonates a business by creating a professional website or investment proposal with a legitimate business details cloned. Employee impersonation tactic is also used to approach the victim as a trusted financial advisor with a fraudulent investment product. Fake emails and phone numbers are often used to facilitate and cover up a scam. When a victim deposits money or authorises payments into a stolen bank account provided by the scammer, the money is often then quickly transferred offshore with low chance of recovery.
- Once in a life time opportunity with a high return and low risk investment proposal comparing to the market rate.
- A offer expiry date creating urgency to take action.
- Multiple follow ups pushing to close the deal.
- Slight variations of website and email addresses from a legitimate business. Examples:
- Website - Legitimate business website: morganstanley.com.au; fake business website: morganstanleywealth.com.au
- Email - Legitimate business email: @moganstanley.com; fake business email: @mswealthmanagement.com
- Suspicious emails or text messages including a link to click on.
- Financial advisors contacting you with off-channel communications e.g., private apps, phone number, and email address
- Remote access request to take you through the investment application.
- Absence of an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence.
Morgan Stanley does not send unsolicited investment offers via email or text. Nor does the firm conduct business over social media or directly trade in any crypto or digital currency products on behalf of clients. It’s important that you are very certain of the identity of any person you are communicating with before providing them with any personal or financial information. When in doubt, please contact us directly using the contact information on this website.
- Stop - Does an offer or request seem suspicious? The best thing to do is stop and not acting on an urgency created for you.
- Check - Contact the organisation the message claims to be from directly to check if the offer or request is real.
- Report – Contact your financial institution immediately if you’ve sent account details/money to a scammer or noticed usual account activities. Report scams to the National Anti-Scam Centre - Scamwatch and the local authority through ReportCyber.
If any doubts, always check with the investment firm directly rather than relying on the contact information provided to you. Remember - If an investment opportunity sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
For further details on other fraud and scams, please refer to: