If you have received a call or email from someone you don't know offering you a great investment opportunity or a loan, be very wary. The caller may be a scammer trying to take your money.
Scams come from companies operating overseas and in Australia. Australians lose millions of dollars every year to scams and you do not want to be the next victim. Protect yourself by checking this list of companies and individuals that are not licensed by ASIC.
If the company that called you is on this list, do not deal with them. Although new names are added as quickly as possible, this is not a comprehensive list. See also the list of fake regulators and exchanges. No genuine government regulators exist under the names on this list. Download the list of companies you should not deal with.
Many scams come from companies based overseas. These scammers target Australians because ASIC does not have international jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute them. However, ASIC can notify the regulator in the scammer's country so that the regulator may pursue these illegal activities.
See investment scams for more detailed information on how these scams work and what questions to ask to check their legitimacy. See banking and credit card scams for more information on these types of scams. If you have been phoned or emailed by an investment company or offer a loan by a company that is not on the list of unlicensed companies, you should search for their name on ASIC Connect's Professional Registers to see if they are licensed.
If the company or person is not licensed, do not deal with them and report them. Reporting them allows ASIC to warn others. Remember that although most overseas businesses selling overseas investments to Australians usually require an Australian Financial Services AFS licence, there are a few exceptions.
Overseas companies can be regulated by the securities commission in their own country. Then you can contact the appropriate overseas regulator or search its website to ensure that a company of that name is registered or licensed by them.
You can also check IOSCO's investor alerts where you can search for overseas companies that are not authorised to provide investments services in the country that has issued the alert.
You will need to double check that you are really dealing with a legitimate company by checking the company's address held by the regulator and also cross checking it in a phone directory. This is to ensure you are dealing with the company itself and not an impostor pretending to be that company. See investment scams for more details on how to check the legitimacy of an investment scam. ASIC wants you to report all investment and loan scams.
Even if we cannot prosecute the scammers, we may be able to warn other people. You should also warn your family and friends to stop them from becoming victims. Please note that generally, ASIC cannot help you get your money back if you have sent it to an overseas company as these companies are out of our jurisdiction.
To find out what we can and can't do when you tell us about a scam, go to our report a scam webpage. Checking our unlicensed companies list is one of the first steps you can take to protect yourself from scams. Check the list of unlicensed companies Why overseas scammers target Australians What if a name is not on the list? Names recently added to the list most recent at the top:More...