The corporate regulator has warned there are scams targeting Australians to establish self-managed superannuation funds (SMSF) and to transfer funds from an existing super account to the new SMSF.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said the super balances were instead transferred to bank accounts controlled by scammers.
ASIC said the scammers were contacting people through email or a cold call pretending to be financial advisers who promised investors high returns of 8% to 20% (or more) per annum. They used company names, email addresses, and websites similar to legitimate Australian companies that held an Australian Financial Services Licence.
“The scammers use a ‘legitimate’ company to ensure the SMSF is properly established and compliant with Australian laws, including the creation of a separate SMSF bank account set up in the investor’s name,” ASIC said.
“The scammers transfer money from the existing super fund, either with or without the knowledge of the investor. They use the identification documents provided to set up the SMSF in an account fully controlled by the scammers.”