Man talking to his accountant in Cairns about types of scams in Australia

Published on: 03 February, 2021 by Foster Lee


From Foster Lee - Chartered Accountant/Tax Practitioner, Cairns:

My research and experience over many years has taught me many, many things.

One of the most important is to be aware of scams and “get-rich-quick” schemes.

What are the tell tale signs and how to recognise them. Here are some of my own views:-

  • Never ever outlay any money to an “idea” no matter how attractive it may sound.
  • Always check with the Taxation Office and/or Australian Securities & Investments Commission (“ASIC”) on its legitimacy.
  • Always check with ASIC if there have been bad reports/news about this “idea”.
  • Always consult your accountant, financial advisor and/or solicitor about the “idea” that you have been told or read about and seek their unbiased professional advice.
  • Google more about the “idea” itself.
  • Have any of the promotors/spruikers/perpetrators of the “idea” faced criminal charges?
  • Were they found guilty, prosecuted, fined and jailed?
  • These promotors/spruikers/perpetrators, given a chance, will hack into your bank accounts, tax and medical records and a host of other sensitive personal data.
  • Are they now starting up/promoting another “idea” under a different profile?
  • Write to the editor of the newspapers asking if anyone has experienced anything bad and/or sinister about the “idea”.
  • Speak to those who have used the “idea” especially those who have lost money on it.
  • Do not get carried away with high rates of return for your capital. The higher the rate of return, the higher the risk.
  • What security are you getting for your investment?
  • Is that security tangible and realisable in the short-term?
  • Is that security underwritten by a reputable financial entity eg commercial bank or merchant bank?
  • Is there a legitimate Australian full street address and not just a PO Box.

The above are what, in my view, you need to know. The list is comprehensive but not exhaustive.

Following the above “guidelines” could potentially save you thousands of after-tax dollars and/or worse still all your retirement savings!!!


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About Foster Lee

Foster is a specialist in aspects of income tax, from the individual to companies and family discretionary and/or unit trusts, bringing together those over thirty (30) years of experience.

He prides himself on quality work at a very value-based fee, meeting the needs of all his clients on a timely, accurate and meaningful basis to protect them. His easy, approachable manner and personalised attention makes all the difference and Foster’s experience in the management of people and their skills is an advantage to you. He genuinely has your interest at heart to maximise your financial/business goals and objectives.

Specially tailored fees can be structured to suit your personal needs and circumstances.

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