The AFP-led Joint Policing Cybercrime Coordination Centre (JPC3) has recently arrested the seventh person allegedly involved in a global investment scam, which may result in further Australian victims coming forward.
The criminal syndicate behind this investment scam allegedly exploited legitimate trading platforms and manipulated data on these platforms to show high returns for investors.
You can read more about this investigation, codenamed Operation Wickham, via the media release published on the AFP website – Melbourne man charged for helping launder tens of millions from cybercrime victims.
How the scam worked:
1. Scammers contact victims through messaging apps, like WhatsApp, or through social media.
2. They communicate for some time and build trust, then encourage the victims to invest their money into legitimate trading platforms, such as MetaTrader.
3. The scammers manipulate the data shown on these trading platforms to show a high return but are scamming victims out of millions of dollars.
- Be wary of the guarantee of high returns – If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
- Get face-to-face financial advice from someone who has an Australian Financial Services licence, which you can check via the ASIC’s website.
- If you’re a victim of an investment scam, report it to your bank then to police via cyber.gov.au/report.
- If you need assistance with reporting cybercrime to police, please call the 24/7 Australian Cyber Security Centre (ASCS) Hotline on 1300 CYBER1 (1300 292 371).
If you or someone you know is a victim of an investment scam, we recommend you notify your bank or financial institution and report it to police via ReportCyber at cyber.gov.au/report.
There are additional tips on how people can protect themselves from investment scams through the National Anti-Scam Centre and Money Smart websites.
The AFP-led JPC3 brings together the powers, experience, investigative and intelligence capabilities of all Australian policing jurisdictions and key international law enforcement and industry partners.
It identifies organised cybercriminals targeting Australia, disrupts their criminal activities and prevents further harm and financial loss to the Australian community.