Australians report $2.96m in losses due to investment fraud in August 2018

Maria Nikolova

The losses due to investment scams have topped $32.7 million since the start of 2018, according to the latest data from Scamwatch.

Scamwatch, the body operated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), has just made public the latest numbers about fraud reports in Australia. Although investment scams did not lead to massive losses in August in contrast to July, the results indicate a constant threat of investment fraud for Australians.

There were 290 reports of investment fraud in August 2018, with a total of $2,964,717 reported as lost due to such scams last month.

Those aged above 65 were the ones to report the biggest losses (more than $1 million in August), whereas Australians aged from 25 to 44 were the most active in submitting reports about scams. Western Australia was the region with the largest losses due to investment scams last month, followed by New South Wales and Queensland.

Since the start of 2018, Australians have reported losses of more than $32.7 million due to investment scams. The number of reports has reached 2,353.

So far this year, July holds the record for financial losses due to such fraudulent schemes – with more than $6 million lost that month.

Source: Scamwatch.

Scamwatch has recently voiced its concerns about the continued expansion of certain investment scams, including binary options and cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency trading scams have grown significantly in the past 12 months and are now the second most common type of investment scam offer pushed on victims.

“The rise in popularity in cryptocurrency trading has not been missed by scammers who are latching onto this new trend to con people. These are similar to any other investment scam: the scammer will claim to have inside knowledge about price movements they will use to make you a fortune. If you invest, your money will quickly disappear,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

Binary options trading stays a popular scam activity area. It involves scammers pretending they can predict the movements of a commodity, asset or index prices over a short time. They direct investors to a website with a login, account details and a trading platform. They appear to put investors’ money into the account and demonstrate a number of successful trades to encourage the investors to invest greater sums. Then the investors’ money begins to disappear and so too does the scammer.

Read this next

Retail FX

Italian watchdog red flags Olympus Brokers, UnicoFX and Allfina Group

Italy’s Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB) has shut down new websites in an ongoing clampdown against firms it accuses of illegally promoting investment products in the country.

Retail FX

XTB revenues hits zł1.45 billion in 2022, Q4 earnings disappoint

Poland-based Forex and CFDs broker, XTB has reported its final results for Q4 of 2022 and the full fiscal year ending on December 31, 2022, showing one of its most successful corporate years.

Executive Moves

Lirunex Limited recruits Waleed Salah as head of MENA sales

Maldives-based brokerage firm Lirunex Limited has secured the services of Waleed Salah, who joined the company in the role of its head of sales for the MENA region.

Executive Moves

Trading 212 parts ways with co-founder Borislav Nedialkov

Trading 212 has a void to fill at its FCA-regulated business in London, following the departure of two key players, Raj Somal and Borislav Nedialkov.

Digital Assets

Binance acquires troubled crypto exchange GOPAX

Binance, the world’s largest digital asset trading platform, has reportedly acquired a majority stake in the troubled South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange GOPAX.

Digital Assets

Kraken exits Middle East, closes UAE office

Digital currency exchange Kraken will close down its operations in Abu Dhabi, UAE and lay off the majority of its team focused on the Middle East and North Africa.

Industry News

CFTC comments on ION Cleared Derivatives issues after Russian-linked hack

“The ongoing issue is impacting some clearing members’ ability to provide the CFTC with timely and accurate data. As this incident unfolded, it became clear that the submission of data that is required by registrants will be delayed until the trading issues are resolved.”

Industry News

FCA took down 14 times more misleading ads in 2022 thanks to technology

The FCA has made significant improvements to the digital tools it uses to find problem firms and misleading adverts. These improvements have enabled it to work through a much larger number of cases compared with 2021.

Executive Moves

HKEX appoints ex-Goldman Sachs Matthew Cheong to lead platform’s focus on derivatives

“He has worked for a number of the world’s leading investment banks and his experience will be invaluable to HKEX as we continue to enhance our derivatives product offerings and build on our innovative and robust platform business, connecting capital with opportunities.”

<