A regulator in Australia has advised residents who want to manage their retirement savings to avoid investing in crypto-assets that offer high returns over a relatively short time. In the same warning, the regulator states that crypto-assets can be a risky and potentially dangerous investment.
Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Australian Financial Services Regulator (ASIC) has advised residents who manage their own superannuation accounts to be cautious of fraudsters that use the promise of high-return crypto assets to scam unsuspecting clients.
The watchdog added that superannuation fund members that wish to “transfer superannuation [retirement savings] out of a regulated fund into a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF)” should seek advice from a licensed adviser before making the switch.
The ASIC issued a warning on January 17th, 2022. It also listed some scammers’ tactics that Australians should be aware of. It states that:
Do not rely on social media ads or online contact from someone promoting an ‘investment opportunity.’ Be wary of people ‘cold calling’, text messaging, or emailing you with a recommendation to transfer your super to an SMSF, or invest in crypto-assets via your SMSF.
The watchdog warns Australians who decide to manage their own retirement savings. It also reminds them about their tax responsibilities and the potential consequences if they invest in cryptocurrency. It also warns Australians not to use licensed financial advisors to help them set up a SMSF.
Unlawful transfer of funds
The ASIC announced that it had decided to close down an unlicensed service business. A One Multi-Services was one example of a shutdown. It had shut down the company in November after accusing it of illegally transferring $2.4 Million to purchase crypto-assets.
The warning explained: “ASIC obtained interim orders and injunctions from the Federal Court in Queensland against A One Multi and its directors Aryn Hala and Heidi Walters to protect investors.”
In the meantime, ASIC warns Australians who were scammed that they can call its hotline on the phone or the internet to report it.
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