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ASIC takes down thousands of scam websites

by Charlotte Humphrys10 minute read

Thousands of investment scam websites have been shut down by the regulator in the seven months since it received website-takedown capabilities.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has revealed it has taken down nearly 3,500 investment scam websites over the last seven months.

In July 2023, ASIC’s capabilities were broadened as part of the government’s Fighting Scams initiative to disrupt scams and protect Australians from financial harm.

Over the past seven months, it has been working with a third party, Netcraft, to remove or limit access on the internet to malicious phishing and investment scam websites seeking to scam consumers out of their information and money.


According to the regulator, Australians have become increasingly vulnerable to financial scams due to cost-of-living pressures.

However, it suggested that because it had removed nearly 3,500 investment scam websites over the last seven months, it had reduced and prevented consumer harm by halting “digitally enabled misconduct”.

ASIC chair Joe Longo explained: “Cost-of-living issues mean more Australians are looking for ways to make ends meet, and scammers are only too happy to try and take advantage. That’s why ASIC is stopping investment scams at the source of their promotion, removing them from the internet before they can lure in unsuspecting consumers.”

The regular has previously looked into the major banks’ practices to protect customers from scams, which led ASIC to set expectations regarding cyber security for all financial institutions.

Mr Longo said that ASIC will now be “turning its attention to a broader range of banks and superannuation trustees” to ensure that financial institutions are effectively protecting their customer base from “predatory scammers”.

He said that ASIC will continue to undergo surveillance practices in the coming months, as well as investigating lenders’ hardship obligations.

Mr Longo said: “Australians can continue to expect significant regulatory and surveillance work from ASIC in the coming months. We are scrutinising the way lenders comply with their hardship obligations, how banks support First Nations consumers to access low-fee accounts, and how superannuation trustees deliver important member services, such as how they handle death benefits claims.

“We will continue to work to ensure the financial system works for all Australians.”

ASIC has also recently announced that directors will be personally held accountable for predatory lending that results in consumer harm.

[Related: Predatory lending directors will be held personally accountable: ASIC]

joe longo ta y i rn


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