ASIC warns investors of Gold Coast investment scam

Investors are being warned by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) of a Gold Coast based unlicensed financial services business operating under the name of Dellingworth Pty Ltd.

The regulator recognised a number of cases where investors had received unsolicited telephone calls from persons representing the purportedly Gold Coast based group.

The callers offered investors the opportunity to invest in Australian shares with potential earnings of between 23 per cent and 49 per cent per annum, ASIC said.

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As part of the offering, investors were asked to take part in a 7-day, no obligation, free trail, with an investment of $1,500 to be deposited into a bank account under the name of Dellingworth Contract. They were also provided with a user name and password which gave them access to their account on the company's website, ASIC stated.

Dellingworth does not hold an Australian financial services licence, while its registered office and principal place of business and the residential address of the sole director and shareholder are false, ASIC found.

Furthermore, ASIC said the identification documents presented by the sole director when Dellingworth's bank account was opened, are also false.

The group's website is no longer accessible and calls to its 1300 phone number are no longer answered.

"I urge potential investors to carefully consider all investment opportunities and seek professional advice before making investment decisions," said ASIC commissioner Greg Tanzer.

ASIC's public warning follows the latest in a number of investment fraud cases, predominantly based on the Gold Coast, although ASIC and state and territory police have recently been alerting investors across Australia.

In February 2012, unlicensed financial planning business Golden Sparrow was wound up, following an application by ASIC to the Supreme Court of Queensland.

In December 2011, a joint operation between the Queensland Police Service, the Australian Crime Commission and ASIC saw multiple search warrants executed across a number of premises and a call centre targeting individuals allegedly involved in investment scams.

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