Crypto cons drive spike in financial scams

It sounds perverse to describe a significant increase in the number of reports of investment scams as ‘‘progress’’, but that is, in one way, what it is.

There is real loss, hardship and suffering attached to every incident. But a failure to report such crimes, for whatever reason, also compounds the problem in that the community is less aware of the risk. And the criminals are more empowered to do it again; and again – it being inconceivable that a con artist will stop at one or even a few.

For the first six months of this year, there were 582 reports of investment scams to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). That is more than double the 275 reports of scams for the same period last year.

Scams follow fashion just as legitimate investment opportunities do, and they vary widely. We have had reports of a crypto-currency trading platform that spruiks annual returns of 160 per cent. Other efforts have included cold-callers claiming to work for local firms and offering loans in exchange for upfront fees and insurance premiums. One ruse involved an offer to invest in shipping containers. Read more

Peter Kell - Brisbane Times - 22 Jul 2018

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