Western Australia Police and Consumer Protection are warning investors to stay away from ‘Ponzi’ schemes after police charged two people with allegedly scamming investors out of $9.5 million on the promise of high returns.
Major Fraud Squad officers have recently charged two people with a total of over 30 offences after they allegedly encouraged investors to hand over $9.5 million on the promise of receiving large returns. A 39 year old Rockingham man is believed to have netted around $3.5 million from unsecured investors, while a 50 year old Canning Vale woman collected $6 million. Many of this woman’s victims were elderly pensioners. Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll warns investors that with any investment scheme, high returns mean higher risk.
“Before signing any documents or handing over hard-earned savings be absolutely clear on what you are agreeing to; study the fine print and assess what security you have over your investment,’ Ms Driscoll said.
“Potential investors should always get a second opinion from a professional – an accountant, lawyer or licensed financial advisor – who is not involved in the scheme. There is extensive investment advice on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission website at www.fido.gov.au”
Major Fraud Squad Officer in Charge, Senior Sergeant Don Heise said that despite the public warnings, detectives continue to receive new complaints from unwary investors.
“We regularly see victims who have sadly lost their entire life savings as a result of these schemes and our aim is to prevent it from happening to others,” Senior Sergeant Don Heise said.