As part of continued efforts to target those who prey on members of the public using cold call investment fraud tactics, police from the Financial and Cyber Crime Group have arrested a man for his alleged involvement in three cold call investment scams on the Gold Coast.
Following protracted investigations into criminal syndicates which resulted in members sentenced to periods of imprisonment, police arrested the 38-year-old man for allegedly acting as manager or a participant of the Gold Coast based investment scams.
Police will allege the 38-year-old Clear Island Waters man has been involved in cold call investment fraud scams over the past 13 years. The business names he will be alleged to be aligned with are Sports International Investment Corporation, Accord Professionals Group Pty Ltd, Voss Capital Management Pty Ltd, LayBet Professionals and Beyond Global Corporation (BCG) Pty Ltd all based on the Gold Coast.
Police have received multiple complaints from people across Australia reporting the companies associated to the scams. The scams offered investment opportunities which involved the purchase of predictive sports betting software and commodity trading.
Police will allege those cold called by the scammers were promised software that would provide high levels of financial return accompanied by tax free gains. They were given demonstrations at their homes to show how effective the software was and instructed to open online betting accounts.
“The software failed to work and the offenders took the money for themselves. We believe they defrauded more than $3.5 million from victims and that is just from those victims we have identified or have come forward. We will allege none of the funds were ever invested,” Detective Superintendent Terry Lawrence of the Financial and Cyber Crime Group said.
The man was arrested and charged at the Southport Watchhouse this morning. He was charged with five charges of fraud.
“It is timely for us to remind the public of the importance of seeking independent and legal advice before committing to any form of investment. These companies will go to all lengths to try and hook you in to sell to you so it is important you take a step back and seek further advice.
“A great starting point is our R U in Control? page which can be found at www.mypolice/incontrol, which has great practical advice and links to the MoneySmart (ASIC), Scamwatch (ACCC) and Office of Fair Trading websites. All of these resources not only provide ways to protect yourself, but list those companies to look out for,” Detective Superintendent Lawrence said.
Common warning signs to look out for:
• “Out of the blue” contact from a company
• The promise of high returns on profits, seemingly “too good to be true”
• Use of terms such as “trading”, “investment”, “tax free”, “low risk”, or “risk free profit”
• The use of a 1300 or 1800 phone number
• A virtual address or a serviced office space.
To protect yourself you can:
Visit www.moneysmart.gov.au or call 1300 300 630 for further information or advice.
Alert your family and friends to these investment frauds, especially those who may have savings to invest.
Report suspected investment frauds to the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, via www.moneysmart.gov.au or 1300 300 630, or your local police. Any information that can be provided such as company name, location and contact details will assist with subsequent investigations and enquiries.
Hang up on unsolicited telephone calls offering investments.
Check any company you are discussing investments with has a valid Australian Financial Services Licence at .
Seek independent financial advice before making an investment.
Contact your financial institution immediately if you think you’ve been scammed to see whether they can retrieve funds invested or prevent further funds being lost.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation working in partnership with the Queensland Police Service.
For all non-urgent police reporting or general police inquiries contact Policelink on 131 444.
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.