Latest News
Hot Issues
How crypto assets can trigger CGT tripwires
ATO targets dodgy deductions for holiday homes
Tips for small business owners
About the working from home safety and wellbeing checklist
Countries with the highest GDP per capita between 1800-2040
Downsizer age reduction now in force
Raids stop $33m in tax avoidance, ATO claims
100A ruling leaves trust decisions haunted by ‘uncertainty’
A 2022 Advent Calendar for our clients
Difference Between Leasing vs Hire Purchase
How Have Australians Reacted to Interest Rate Hikes?
FBT – Christmas Parties and Taxi Fare/Rideshare
Employee Christmas Parties and Gifts – Any FBT?
Big-end-of-town tax: miners, banks pay up, but for one-third it’s zip
Cash flow forecasting template
Buyback law closes loophole ‘but franking credits here to stay’
Budget October 2022-23-Comprehensive summary
Federal budget 2022 -- Winners and Loser
Federal Budget 2022/23 - Documents and Facts Sheets
Budget: all the key points you need to know
Sole traders cut back super, work longer hours
Small business debt and tax gap at top of ATO hit list
Christmas ‘crunch time for economy, inflation outlook’
Articles archive
Quarter 4 October - December 2022
Quarter 3 July - September 2022
Quarter 2 April - June 2022
Quarter 1 January - March 2022
Quarter 4 October - December 2021
Quarter 3 July - September 2021
Quarter 2 April - June 2021
Quarter 1 January - March 2021
Quarter 4 October - December 2020
Quarter 3 July - September 2020
Quarter 2 April - June 2020
Quarter 1 January - March 2020
Quarter 4 October - December 2019
Quarter 3 July - September 2019
Quarter 2 April - June 2019
Quarter 1 January - March 2019
Quarter 4 October - December 2018
Quarter 3 July - September 2018
Quarter 2 April - June 2018
Quarter 1 January - March 2018
Quarter 4 October - December 2017
Quarter 3 July - September 2017
Quarter 2 April - June 2017
Quarter 1 January - March 2017
Quarter 4 October - December 2016
Quarter 3 July - September 2016
Quarter 2 April - June 2016
Quarter 1 January - March 2016
Quarter 4 October - December 2015
Quarter 3 July - September 2015
Quarter 2 April - June 2015
Quarter 1 January - March 2015
Quarter 4 October - December 2014
SMSF scam investigation sees call centre raided

A boiler room operation in the Philippines has been raided following investigations into a sophisticated scam targeting SMSF money.


A scam call centre in Manila set up to steal retirement funds by posing as an Australian company was raided by Cybercrime investigation company IFW Global and the Philippines National Police this month, an ABC 7:30 report has revealed.

The scam orchestrators aimed to gather critical information from victims by pretending to be a bona fide Australian operation, according to IFW Global, which began an investigation in 2020 after receiving intelligence about a criminal group in Manila who were targeting Australian SMSFs.

To uncover the culprits behind the scam, IFW operatives in the Philippines performed surveillance and gathered covert intelligence.

The perpetrators posed as Australian Securities Administration Limited (ASAL), a legitimate and licensed company.

In reality, the boiler room operation was merely a clone used to convince victims to divulge details about their superannuation accounts, said IFW Global.

IFW filed a formal criminal complaint with the Philippines National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG).

On September 9, 2022, the PNP-ACG Cyber Response Unit worked with IFW operatives to conduct two raids in Pasig – one on an office and another on a residential property.

During the office raid, the PNP-ACG detained 29 Filipino workers and seized a number of mobile phones, computers and other devices under a cyber warrant issued by the Philippine Court.

Meanwhile, other PNP-ACG operatives raided the residence of a 53-year-old British national who allegedly owned the business behind the call centre. Both he and his wife were taken into custody for questioning. No charges have been laid.

All detainees were released pending further investigation into possible violation of Section 4(b)(2) (Computer-related Fraud) and Section 5(a) (Aiding or Abetting in the Commission of Cybercrime) of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. 

The private investigator warned that SMSF scams like this one were becoming increasingly prevalent.

“Tempted by the large sums and equipped with the advanced technology to devise sophisticated schemes, more and more scammers around the world are trying to get their hands on Australian pensions,” it said.

Based on figures from the ACCC, $701 million was lost to investment fraud in 2021 alone.

In comments provided to the ABC, ASIC deputy chair Sarah Court said that ASIC had written to AMP last year alerting it to the potential misuse of Australian Securities Administration Limited’s name and Australian Financial Services Licence and in response, AMP published a warning on its website.

The corporate regulator said: “ASIC also issued its own warning about these types of scams in May last year highlighting the need for consumers to exercise great caution whenever contacted to open a SMSF account, and to always seek independent, trustworthy advice.

“These matters are a powerful reminder that Australians need to treat contact by any third parties in relation to their investment and superannuation choices with the maximum caution.”

In its warning issued last year, ASIC said that some of the common tactics being deployed by scammers targeting superannuation included contacting people by email or a cold call, pretending to be financial advisers, and encouraging them to transfer their superannuation into a new SMSF.

The investor was often promised high returns of 8 per cent to 20 per cent or more per annum.

ASIC said before investing, investors should check ASIC Offer Notice Board to see if the prospects relates to a recent offer registered with ASIC and check ASIC’s register of Australian financial services licensees to make sure any party promoting or issuing the financial product is licensed or is authorised by a licensee.

They should also check ASIC’s Moneysmart list of companies you should not deal with, and confirm the website details and phone number listed on their main website to verify the legitimacy of the financial product or investment.

“Never trust the telephone numbers or email addresses provided to you in unsolicited emails or cold calls,” it warned.

It also advised investors to obtain independent financial advice about the investment.



Miranda Brownlee
05 October 2022

Privacy Policy | Disclaimer