September 28, 2020

ASIC News : Scammers hard at work during Covid times?

While the world is struggling to keep up with this ongoing pandemic, and is inching its way back to normalcy, forex and crypto scammers are having a rather auspicious 2020. According to a recent statement by the ASIC, there has been a noted 20% rise in the misconduct complaints received by them in March to May 2020, as compared to the same time last year. It seems while the whole world is adjusting to working from home, and spending more and more time on the internet, scammers are hard at work. Warren Day, the Executive Director for Assessment and Intelligence at ASIC, remarked that a perfect storm is here, given the economic uncertainty created by Covid -19. Day also mentioned that these are actually no new scams, just age old scams in a new packaging.

Something new however could be the rise in online romance based scams. How the scam works is simple, although sounds weird. Unsuspecting people come across scamsters and promoters of scamster platforms, who initially act normal. But after building a relationship, or basic trust, they start bragging and boasting about the great profits they made with a certain new “investment opportunity”. Now this could be either forex scams, crypto-asset based scams or any other sort of trading scams. So, then these people would push you to register with one of these scamsters and then persuade you to “invest”. Once they’ve gotten enough money out of you, your online romantic/platonic partner suddenly ghosts you and you are out of a load of money. These scams also come your way, via many other internet based and offline channels. 

For instance, often these scamsters would grab one unsuspecting victim, and give them back some returns initially, so that they invest more, and also refer it to more people. A very significant trait of these scamster companies is a very strong push for referrals. As this is the best way for them to crack a new victim, as the victim’s friend/family is the one who does the selling for them. Once the primary victim serves their purpose and brings onboard a few new victims, they are ghosted, and often the company shuts shop and moves to a new name. What is even more ridiculous is that many a times these scamsters do not even put in the effort and money to create a fake platform with fake trading information; They just put up a dummy website, only to get money deposited, and then by default start to show you updates of bad trades and how you are losing money, while your money hasn’t been used to purchase or sell anything.

We urge our readers to stay safe on the internet, and not just to believe any lucrative get-rich-quick schemes that you might come across in these tough times. And if you have been a victim of such a scam, fill up the form on this page and our community of experienced traders will try to guide you.