Avoiding share scams in cyberspace

An address by Tim Phillipps, Director, Electronic Enforcement, ASIC to the Australian Financial Review seminar 'Online Broking - Opportunity or Threat', Sydney, 20 & 21 September 1999.

Internet scams and the financial services sector

I'm inclined to say at the outset: 'History repeats itself - repeatedly' - though I'm sure that someone of considerable importance has already claimed this.

Internet scams, perhaps more appropriately described for today's purposes as fraudulent activity relating to or making use of the Internet, are largely nothing new.

History has repeatedly seen a range of fraudulent criminal activity develop around new technologies. Without going too far back into history, (and to mention but a few), we saw it with the introduction of photocopiers, fax machines, credit cards, mobile phones, automatic teller machines, Eftpos terminals, personal computers and now, not surprisingly, the Internet.

Internet scams, in my view, is simply a well-established tradition of criminality finding a temporary home in new technology.

The Challenge for law enforcement agencies and regulators alike in the fighting financial scams is understanding and leveraging new technologies without inhibiting the creativity and innovation of the financial services sector.

That the Cyberworld has made dramatic changes to the way the financial services sector operates is without doubt. Market innovation and services development in response to escalating rates of human technology adoption pose new challenges for ASIC and continue to influence regulatory strategy and enforcement approaches. This paper will look at these developments essentially from an enforcement perspective.

Read the full speech (PDF 230 KB)

Last updated: 20/09/1999 12:00