Police from State Crime Command have today closed an operation in relation to an alleged $30m cold call investment fraud syndicate involving approximately 2000 victims across Australia.
The two-year operation conducted by the Financial and Cyber Crimes Group focused on a syndicate operating primarily from the Gold Coast. The investigation received significant assistance from the Australian Taxation Office and the Crime and Corruption Commission.
Today officers from the group executed search warrants on residences and businesses on the Gold Coast, and one residence and business in Brisbane. Assistance was also provided by officers from the Australian Taxation Office, Office of Fair Trading and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
Five people have been charged including four men aged in their 30’s and 40’s and a 41-year-old woman.
It is alleged the five arrested were either the principal players behind the scam or involved in the laundering of victims’ money.
The scam involved high pressure sales tactics and offering victims incredible returns on share market investments via a computer program. The scam was supported by bogus websites containing fake information about the product and companies.
“This has been a complex and protracted joint-agency investigation. We believe more than $30m over a three year period was extracted from victims across Australia”, Acting Detective Superintendent Peter Brewer, Financial and Cyber Crimes Group said.
Company names used by the syndicate include ESL, Eurosoft, OWS, OW Sydney, One Wealth, GTA, GlobalTech, GTA Australia, GT Australia, GT Alliance, TRP, TRP Solutions, Thorne Roberts Price and Thomson Rowe Partners.
“These types of scams are often very professional and convincing. People need to be aware that cold calling in relation to financial products of any description is illegal. If you find yourself being cold called or being pressured to financially commit this should ring alarm bells and we highly recommend hanging up and having no further contact with those involved. Even if a person holds an Australian Financial Services Licence, we recommend seeking independent financial advice before committing to anything,” Acting Detective Superintendent Brewer said.
The investigation is ongoing anyone who may have been a victim of this or any other scam is asked to contact police.
If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.
You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.