Vanguard has urged Australian investors to be vigilant regarding a recent spate of investment bond phishing scams using the names of well-known financial services organisations.
Vanguard said it had become aware of a scam using its’ and other fund manager’s brands to offer bonds to potential investors via a fraudulent investment comparison website.
“The scam involves common search engine terms like bond or high yield investments resulting in an advertising link to fake investment comparison websites like ‘Investment Compare’ or some variation of that name to collect personal information including identification and bank details, followed by in-person contact and provision of a fake Vanguard prospectus designed to convince victims to purchase non-existent investment products,” Vanguard stated.
The fund manager noted it was alerting investors of the scam via its websites and its investor portal, as well as offering phone support. It also said it was actively advising those impacted by the fraudulent activity as to what steps they could take to limit the damage.
Vanguard head of corporate affairs Robin Bowerman said: “In this low rate environment, these scammers are taking advantage of investors seeking higher yields through a fake investment bond offering eye-catching – but ultimately unrealistic – yields. Echoing ASIC’s (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) February warning; if it feels too good to be true, it probably is.”
“We are urging anyone considering investing in a new investment to conduct proper due diligence prior to transferring funds, including contacting the asset manager they are looking to invest with directly via their listed phone number or website.
“Anyone impacted should immediately report this criminal offence to police, contact their bank to stop payments being taken, and alert major credit bureaus such as Equifax and Experion to place a stop on their credit profile to prevent others opening accounts with their personal information,” he suggested.''