26 September 2023

QSuper members warned scams on the rise

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QSuper has relayed information to its members on the increasing risk of losing money to ever more sophisticated investment scams.

“A 53.4 per cent jump in reports of scams in the six months to 30 June 2021 compared to last year has prompted the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch to warn consumers to beware of investment and crypto-currency scams,” QSuper said in a statement.

“More than half of the $70 million in losses were to crypto-currency, especially through Bitcoin, and crypto-currency scams were also the most commonly reported type of investment scam with 2,240 reports,” it said.

QSuper said losses to investment scams involving Bitcoin reached $25.7 million in the first six months of 2021, compared to $17.8 million across all of 2020, which represented a 44 per cent increase.

“Losses to other types of investment scams, including imposter bond scams, Ponzi schemes and romance baiting scams also increased,” it said.

“The Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s MoneySmart website says every scam is different, can be very difficult to spot and anyone can be scammed.”

It said investment scam types could include an investment offer that was completely fake; an investment existing, but the money given to the scammer not going to that investment; or the scammer lying that they represented a well-known investment company.

“In all cases, the money you ‘invest’ goes straight into the scammer’s bank account and not towards any real investment,” QSuper said.

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