Losses made by Australians falling prey to impostor bond scams nearly tripled in the first half of 2022 as consumers lost over $14 million in their quest for returns.
Scam Executions: Perpetrators are understood to have impersonated real financial firms or banks while claiming to offer Treasury bonds or fixed-term deposits. Between January and June this year, there were 228 reports of fraud compared with just 82 in the first half of last year, according to a statement by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
People often fall victim to them after searching online for investment opportunities and completing inquiry forms via fake third-party comparison sites, the ACCC said. More than half of those who reported losses to imposter bond scams were first contacted by phone.
ACCC's Statement: ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said as interest rates rise, people looking to invest in bonds are falling victim to these scams after searching online for investment opportunities.
“These comparison sites can appear very convincing, and people are providing their details under the impression that these are legitimate Australian sites comparing real financial services,” Rickard said.
Safety Advice: Rickard pointed out that investors can buy bonds via the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and urged them to follow the Australian Securities & Investments Commission's safety advice. Consumers who have given away personal information, as most victims have, can contact IDCARE, which functions as Australia and New Zealand's national identity and cyber support service.
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