The ATO has warned that reports of fraudulent activity involving fake Superannuation investments targeting SMSF trustees have significantly increased.
Given that many scammers are highly skilled and deceptive, it is important that individuals protect themselves and their families against scams by understanding the warning signs and maintaining vigilance.
Scammers are disguising themselves as expert financial advisors who are encouraging people to invest their super in an apparent high performing self-managed super fund (SMSF).
Signs to be aware of:
- Scammers have reportedly contacted people via phone or email and may have made multiple attempts to reach people.
- You may be asked for personal or financial information several times.
- Some people have been asked to complete a “super comparison” online, whereby you may be directed to a seemingly legitimate fake website.
- Scammers may refer to the name and Australian Financial Service License (AFSL) of a genuine business and create a seemingly legitimate fake website.
- You may be surreptitiously encouraged to not engage the ATO, ASIC or similar professional bodies.
- If the scammer is successful, they will transfer your super into their personal bank account.
How to avoid being scammed:
- Always verify the person you are in contact with before providing any personal or financial information over the phone.
- Ensure that you are not being scammed by cross-checking that the licensed professional is listed on ASIC’s professional registers.
- Contact the ATO directly (13 10 20) if you are unsure about any superannuation related information that you have received.
- Take note of the URL that you have been directed to, often scammers will use a real business’s domain name at the beginning of a URL, however there will be discrepancies at the end of the URL.
- If you receive a scam email, do not click on any links, and delete the email immediately.
The images below show a few examples of what scams can look like.
If you're hesitant about making Superannuation investments by virtue of being targeted by scammers, or require clarification on the resources that can be used to verify legitimate professionals, get in touch with Azure Group.
Alternatively, visit the ATO for constant updates on scam alerts.