Alert: Fake IPO and pre-IPO investment scams
9 November 2022
- ASIC has seen an increase in reports about fake IPO and pre-IPO investment scams.
- Scammers have been offering fake investments for Porsche’s IPO.
- The scammers have been impersonating Australian companies to promote the offers. They do not have any association with the companies.
Scams may coincide with legitimate fundraising
ASIC found that the fake Porsche IPO has coincided with the genuine listing of Porsche, which took place on 29 September 2022 on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Porsche shares are generally purchased by investors through licensed financial service providers or directly on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. If you are buying through another means, it may be a scam.
You can find a licensed financial service provider via ASIC’s free online search.
What to look out for
Scammers may present consumers with offer documents and share purchase agreements that appear to be genuine.
Investing at the pre-IPO stage can involve significant risks for investors. Pre-IPO offerings targeted at the general public – especially those that are published through ‘spam’ email – are often fraudulent and illegal.
A company that promotes an IPO in Australia must lodge a prospectus with ASIC. It may be a scam if:
- the company has not lodged a prospectus with ASIC (you can check this for free through ASIC Connect)
- the bank accounts details do not directly match the entity you are investing with
- the document contains email addresses which don’t correspond with relevant corporate email addresses.
What to do if you’ve been targeted by scammers
- Do not send any more money. Block all contact from the scammer.
- Report it to your bank or financial institution immediately. Ask them to stop any transactions. If you are not happy with your financial institution’s response, you can make a complaint to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority and seek an award compensation for damages.
- Be wary of follow-up scams promising to help you get your money back for a fee.
- Contact IDCARE, a free government-funded service, which can help to develop a specific response plan. IDCARE will never contact you out of the blue.
- Report it to your local police.
- Report it to ASIC (unfortunately ASIC cannot help you get your money back).
For more information, see what to do if you’ve been scammed.
If you are experiencing problems with debt talk to:
- National Debt Helpline: 1800 007 007 (Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm) or chat online.
If you need someone to talk to (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) contact:
- Lifeline — 13 11 14 or the online Crisis Support Chat
- Beyond Blue — 1300 22 4636 or Beyond Blue website
- Investment Scams page on ASIC’s Moneysmart website
- ASIC warning on imposter bonds
- ASIC warning on fake green bonds
- ASIC warning on fake Telstra Corporation Limited bonds
- Qantas Airways Limited’s warning on bond scams
ASIC is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator.