Scams have been around forever, but it’s disturbing to know that there are people out there attempting to pray on individuals during this pandemic. Especially when people are at their most vulnerable state.
Please be vigilant and double check any emails or phone calls you receive about any of your personal financial matters, including personal tax matters, bank account information, pensions, superannuation or investment accounts. It’s extremely important to note, that the Banks or investment providers will never ask for your password to access your online accounts, nor will the ATO contact you directly about your tax matters.
If someone offers to withdraw your super or move it to a self-managed super fund (SMSF) so you can access the money, it’s probably a scam.
Learn how to spot a superannuation scam, and where to report it. Scammers can target you online, by phone or by email.
Signs of a super scam:
- advertisements promoting early access to super
- offers to ‘take control’ of your super
- offers to invest your super in property
- offers of quick and easy ways to access or ‘unlock’ super
Phishing scams for your super
Watch out for emails or calls requesting your personal or account details. Scammers may pretend to be a company you know, like your super fund, to steal your identity. They may then use this to transfer your super to an account they can access, like a fake SMSF.
Protect yourself from super scams
There are some simple things to protect yourself from super scams.
Know the rules about your super
Scammers will try to convince you that they can help you to get your super early. Knowing when you can legally get your super protects you from these kinds of scams.
See getting your super.
As always, your Pinnacle Advisor should be the go to person before any ‘cold call’ person trying to convince you.
Take steps to stop identity theft
There are simple steps you can take to help stop someone stealing your identity — for example, shredding your documents, and being careful on social media. See identity theft.
Don’t deal with anyone who is not licensed
A scammer will not have a licence to set up or manage super funds. You can check if someone is licensed on ASIC’s website. Choose ‘Australian Financial Services Licensee’ in the drop-down menu when you search. You can also use APRA’s Disqualification Register to check whether someone has been disqualified.
Your Pinnacle Advisor is licenced through Pinnacle Dealer Services (AFSL 513743 ABN 53 630 368 302).
If you think you have encountered a scam:
- Talk about your concerns with a friend, family member or colleague. This can help you do a quick sanity check and reframe your thinking, because some scams work by playing on your emotions.
- Check the scam’s legitimacy directly with the organisation it claims to be from, by using contact details sourced separately from the business’ official website (and not using any contact details from the message itself).
Top tips that often indicate it’s a scam:
- It asks you to click on a link to ‘confirm’ your details.
- It’s not addressed to you personally.
- There’s a sense of urgency about the message.
In searching for a business’s official website or other pages, have a look online for any reviews from other people that may confirm it’s a scam.
You can also create a ‘not sure’ folder in your mailbox, where you drag suspicious messages to go through at a later time, perhaps with the help of someone you trust. Remember some scams attempt to hijack your logical thinking by telling you to act urgently; reframe your thinking by reviewing these messages the day or week after you receive them.
Visit the Stay Smart Online website for information about Coronavirus scams and how to stay safe. If you think you have been scammed, you can make a report on the Scamwatch website, and find more information about where to get help.
Additionally, you can visit the Moneysmart website for more information on how to spot a scam.
Furthermore, if you are approached by or have received something from a Fund Manager where your investments are held and you are not sure, then please call your Pinnacle Advisor for further clarification.