news item

Scam alert: Fake ASIC branding is appearing on social media scams


Key points:

  • ASIC is alerting consumers to an increase in the misuse of ASIC’s logo on social media to promote fake investments and stock market trading courses. ASIC does not endorse or promote any investment training or platforms.
  • ASIC does not cold call consumers about investments or refunds on investments.
  • ASIC is not associated with any investment offerings and will never ask investors to pay for trading taxes or pay to release investment funds.

ASIC is warning consumers about the misuse of ASIC’s logo on social media to promote fake investments and stock market trading courses and cold calling, and Telegram impersonations.

ASIC has received a number of reports about ads for a ‘Stock Trading Master Class’. The ads have been seen on social media platforms, display the ASIC logo and claim to be sponsored by ASIC.

When consumers click on the ad, they are taken to a private Whatsapp group called Lonton Wealth Management Center. ASIC listed this entity on the Investor Alert List on 21 May 2024.

These social media advertisements are misleading consumers by:

  • Displaying the ASIC logo. ASIC is not associated with this provider.
  • Falsely claiming that the stock trading master class is sponsored/endorsed by ASIC. This is not true.

ASIC is also aware of repeated cold calls from persons claiming to be from ASIC attempting to engage with consumers in obtaining a refund on an investment. This is a concern as ASIC does not cold call consumers about investments or refunds on investments.

In addition, ASIC has also become aware of an impersonation account on Telegram, pretending to be an ASIC social media account. The operators of this account are asking investors for money to release their investment funds held in Australia.

This is concerning because:

  • ASIC does not maintain a Telegram account.
  • ASIC will never ask for money as upfront taxes or payments to release investments held in Australia.
  • Entities that engage with consumers through private social media groups may be attempting to conceal their true identity.

How to tell a social media ad is not associated or endorsed by ASIC

A social media ad is not associated with ASIC if it:

  • is using the ASIC logo to promote investing or financial products and services. ASIC will never endorse a product or training course.
  • claims to have a relationship with ASIC – they may say they are ‘supported’ or ‘sponsored’ by ASIC.
  • claims to be from ASIC but refers to a third-party.
  • directs to a social media account with the ASIC logo, but the account has likely been recently created as it doesn’t have a history of posts and is not using ASIC’s social media handles.

ASIC’s only official social media accounts:

Example of fake social media advertisement

Scam advertisement

What to do if you see this scam

STOP: If you see these fake ads, do not click on them. Scroll past, delete, or refresh your browser.

THINK: Check ASIC’s official social media accounts for any warnings. Check the social handles to make sure you’re viewing ASIC’s legitimate social media accounts listed above.

PROTECT: If there is an option to do so, report the ads directly to the social media platform, and also report the scam to Scamwatch. ASIC is working with the National Anti-Scam Centre and social media platforms to get harmful content removed.

Think you have been scammed?

If you think you’ve been scammed, take these steps fast:

  1. Do not send any more money. Block all contact from the scammer.
  2. Report it to your financial institution. If you are not happy with your financial institution’s response, you can make a complaint to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority.
  3. Contact IDCARE, a free government-funded service, which can help to develop a specific response plan if your identity has been compromised. IDCARE will never contact you out of the blue.
  4. Be wary of follow-up scams promising to help get your money back.
  5. Report it to Scamwatch to help stop the scammer.
  6. Report the social media account to the social media platform, if there is an option to do so.
  7. Warn your family and friends about the scam.

Go to what to do if you’ve been scammed for more detailed steps.

Further support

If you need to talk to someone, contact:

  • Lifeline on 13 11 14 (24 hours) or their crisis support online chat or
  • Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36 (24 hours) or their web chat

If you are experiencing problems with debt, contact:

  • the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 (Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm) or chat online

Related links

Protect yourself from scams -

Check before you invest -

Report an investment scam -

Social media scams | Scamwatch

ASIC is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator.

Media enquiries: Contact ASIC Media Unit