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Advisers play lead role in safeguarding clients from scams

Advisers play lead role in safeguarding clients from scams

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By Keith Ford ·
November 10 2022

Advisers play lead role in safeguarding clients from scams

The SMSF Association has used Scam Awareness Week to encourage its members to educate clients about scams.

Scam Awareness Week, which launched on Monday, highlights the need to have a more focused conversation about the growing risks and different types of scams in circulation, and how people can protect themselves from scammers.

Investment scams are among the most damaging, with reported losses totalling $267 million as of 31 August 2022. According to the CEO of the SMSF Association, this puts specialist advisers in a position to take a leading role in educating their clients.

“As these investment scams continue to grow and become more sophisticated, they present a very real risk to our sector,” John Maroney said.

“Not only are SMSF trustees and self-directed investors often impacted by these scams, but major investments can be irreversibly damaged by scams and cyber attacks. We've seen that with Medibank and Optus in recent months.”

He added: “Our role is to raise awareness, encourage conversations and promote vigilance to safeguard SMSFs from this activity.

“This is why last year, we launched our Scams Awareness website to help people identify common scams, explain how to report scams and to offer tips on how people can protect themselves from scammers.


“We are calling on SMSF specialist advisers to take a lead role in understanding the warning signs and educating trustees and self-directed investors on scams, and to proactively reach out to clients and encourage them to report scams they may have heard about or experienced themselves.”

According to Scamwatch, Australians made more than 286,600 reports and reported losses of around $324 million in 2021. By the end of August this year, Australians had lost even more, with reported losses surpassing $381 million.

Of those losses, 70 per cent were investment scams, with losses involving cryptocurrency investments reported as one of the highest of all types of investment scams.

Mr Maroney concluded: “The Association has an important role to play in protecting our community. We will endeavour to continue educating SMSF professionals, trustees, and self-directed investors on how best to protect their retirement savings.”

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Keith Ford

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