InFocus March 2019 - Volume 28 Issue 2
- A reminder to be vigilant and watch out for potential scams targeting ASIC customers
- Registered agents - be wary of credit card fraud
- 'See something, say something' - reporting corporate misconduct
- New online service for Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) auditors
- Event - Small Business Fairs Roadshow – March 2019
Scammers have been contacting ASIC customers asking them to pay fees and give personal information to renew business names or company registration. The emails often link to fake ASIC invoices that have incorrect payment details or infect your computer with malware when you click on them.
An email may not be from us if it asks you:
- to make payment over the phone
- to make payment to receive a refund
- for your credit card or bank details directly by email or phone
For a business name, we will issue a renewal notice 30 days before your renewal date.
For a company, we will issue your annual statement within a few days of your review date for a company.
If it's outside our usual timeframe, it might be a scam. You can check your renewal date or review date on our website.
A reminder to all our registered agents to be aware of the potential for credit card fraud, both for themselves and their customers. Recently, we’ve received a number of reports of stolen credit card details being used to register companies or make payments for companies on behalf of people.
By 2020, it’s estimated that online purchases will account for more than 14% of all Australia retail sales, so it’s more important than ever to practise good cyber security.
As we cannot compensate for credit card fraud, we suggest the following security measures:
- Be wary of clicking links or opening attachments in emails from people you don’t know.
- Be especially careful of emails supposedly from organisations that ask you to log in or verify your details through a website.
- Look for the padlock in the address bar to make sure that your connection is secure and the site has a valid security certificate.
‘Red flags’ can include:
- Bulk registration of companies registered outside business hours
- Companies using suspicious addresses, or the address of established entities
- Payments that use multiple credit cards
- Any card information transmitted across the internet is encrypted in accordance with data security standards
- Ensure that any information you store is only accessible to authorised people
- Use additional security features like 2 factor authentication
- Consider comprehensive insurance, which can cover events like credit card fraud
For more information about what you can do, visit Stay Smart Online.
Registered agents play a big role in educating and assisting companies to manage their business obligations. By ensuring that these companies meet their obligations, they are positively contributing to Australia’s economic wellbeing.
We recently introduced the ASIC Registered Agent Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) which govern how registered agents use our registry services. The T&Cs define what an ASIC registered agent is, eligibility criteria, and the obligations to be fulfilled by ASIC registered agents.
We encourage all registered agents to report any potential company or director misconduct that they encounter as part of their work. This helps ensure that businesses in Australia operate with transparency and accountability.
Potential misconduct could include:
- continuing to trade while insolvent
- failing to lodge appropriate documents in a timely manner, or
- managing a company while disqualified (e.g. while bankrupt, after conviction of an offence of the Corporations Act, or convicted of an offence involving dishonesty with imprisonment).
You can report misconduct to ASIC online; be sure to include as much information as possible and reference any relevant documents or letters.
Once you have submitted your report, we’ll send you a confirmation email and contact you if we require further information.
On 4 March 2019, we launched a new online service for SMSF auditors, the ASIC Regulatory Portal. All applications to become a registered SMSF auditor are now lodged through the new portal. You can also use the portal to update your registration details and submit your annual statements.
The ASIC Regulatory Portal replaces the previous service, ASIC Connect, and is where the regulated community can access our suite of digital services.
The new portal provides SMSF auditors with:
- more online transactions
- additional pre-filled data using previously supplied information
- improved tracking of your applications and transactions
- the ability to attach supporting documents with your online transaction, and
- the ability to contact us through the portal about your current transactions
To find out more about the changes to SMSF auditors, please visit our SMSF auditors information page.
To find out more about the ASIC Regulatory Portal, including upcoming online services, visit our portal information page.
ASIC is taking part in Small Business Fairs organised by the Department of Jobs and Small Business in 5 locations across Victoria in March 2019.
The Fairs have already taken place in Western Australia, South Australia and the ACT with over 1000 people attending. They provide a one-stop shop to locals who can receive helpful face-to-face business guidance and advice.
There is a strong focus on technology and supporting small business owners to understand the tools available when transitioning from manual to time-saving digital formats.
For more information, visit www.jobs.gov.au/small-business-fair