At a press conference today, Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones outlined a new scam website takedown capability implemented by ASIC. The takedown capability removes or limits access to fraudulent and malicious websites on the internet and expands on a three-week trial ASIC conducted in 2022.
Since July 2023, ASIC has disrupted scam activity by initiating takedowns of more than 2,500 investment scam and phishing websites. Those figures include:
- 2,100 sites that have been taken down
- over 400 sites in the process of being taken down
During today’s press conference, ASIC Deputy Chair Sarah Court said, ‘We recognise that scammers rely on technology to perpetrate investment scams. This includes using sophisticated websites to trick Australians into believing they are making genuine investments. Our website takedown service helps us identify and disrupt investment scam and phishing websites from causing further harm to Australians.’
ASIC has funding dedicated to enhance its disruption initiatives to combat investment scams, including by engaging a third party to takedown investment scam and phishing websites.
ASIC’s investment scam and phishing website takedown capability is part of the government’s Fighting Scams initiative to disrupt scams and protect Australians from financial harm. The initiative also supports the work of the National Anti-Scams Centre (NASC), which commenced operations on 1 July 2023. The National Anti-Scam Centre will coordinate government, law enforcement and the private sector to combat scams.
The scam websites disrupted by ASIC include fake investment platforms, crypto-asset scam websites, and imposter scam websites where legitimate financial service businesses are being impersonated.
Imposter scams are often difficult to detect. If you are unsure whether you are dealing with the legitimate business, contact the business by using the publicly listed phone number.
‘All Australians should approach websites that promote guaranteed, quick, low-risk and very high-returns with caution. If an investment opportunity seems too good to be true, it almost certainly is,’ added Ms Court.
If you’ve seen a suspicious website and you think it might be an investment scam, find out how to report an investment scam by following the link. If you are unsure of the nature of the scam, please report it to scamwatch.gov.au.
More information on ASIC’s website takedown capability can be found on the investment scam website takedown capability page.