Organised crime groups are targeting the retirement savings of elderly Australians with sophisticated fraud operations.
Typically based overseas, the fraudsters initiate contact over the phone and use an array of persuasive techniques to build trust with victims, before enticing them to transfer funds into bogus investments.
Experienced and inexperienced investors alike are at risk. Authorities confirm that more than 2,600 mainly elderly Australians have fallen victim to the fraud (as at June 2012). The average individual loss is around $42,348, but losses range from $35,000 to $4 million.
Total losses are believed to be higher than the reported $113 million to date because many victims are unwilling or too embarrassed to report their loss.
To combat the fraud, the Australian Crime Commission Board has established a high-level taskforce involving key Government agencies and police bodies.
For more information call 1300 300 630 or visit www.moneysmart.gov.au