Don’t lose your super to scammers

Don’t be another victim – be on the lookout for scammers who call you about your superannuation!

ASIC on the lookout

The number of cold callers is on the rise. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) are urging people to hang up on cold callers and scroll past social media click bait that may be offering to help you compare and switch superannuation funds.

How cold callers operate

In many cases, cold callers will convince you to buy a product or sign up to a service. This could relate to any financial investment, product or service, but there has been a focus on scammers approaching people about their superannuation.

A typical superannuation cold calling experience includes:

  • A call from someone you don’t know to see if you ‘qualify’ for a free review of your superannuation.
  • Contact from a cold caller who convinces you your existing superannuation fund is not performing.
  • A statement of advice (SOA) prepared by a financial advice firm the cold caller has an existing arrangement with.
  • ‘Cookie cutter’ advice that is expensive, often unnecessary, doesn’t consider your individual needs, and may leave you in a worse position.

The cold caller may benefit by getting a cut of the financial advice fees, which are deducted from your superannuation balance. In the end, you could end up paying for advice that may not even be right for you.

What to do

If you receive a call from a number you don’t know, ignore it. Otherwise, if you are contacted by a cold caller and answer the call, just hang up. Similarly if you receive a SMS message from a number you don’t know, ignore it and do not click on any links.

If you have given personal information about your superannuation or banking details to a cold caller, contact your existing superannuation fund or bank immediately and ask them to not allow any withdrawals.

You can also block a cold caller’s number and limit the calls you receive by joining the Do Not Call register.

Avoid social media click bait

You may have also come across some posts on your social media feed which question whether your superannuation is performing or encouraging you to compare your superannuation fund. If so, take care as some businesses try to grab your attention on social media before they try to sell you their services.

Beware of other sophisticated scammers

There are also reports that many Australians have fallen victim to sophisticated scammers who use technologies that use your bank’s legitimate phone number and texts on the same thread as genuine messages. Often, people are losing their money through no fault of their own as scammers either hack or manipulate a bank or other institution’s systems which will often see victims inadvertently providing information, such as a passcode, to the scammer. Be vigilant and never provide personal information, passwords or pass codes to anyone over the phone. 

Beware of scammers

As the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Avoid pushy sales tactics such as cold calling or social media click bait that rushes your decision-making. If you’re thinking about making changes to your superannuation, you can always start by doing your own research, contact your existing superannuation fund, and consider using a licenced financial adviser to obtain quality financial advice about your superannuation.

This information has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation, or needs. Because of this, you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation or needs. Content in partnership with the Institute of Financial Professionals Australia (IFPA).