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Beware of scam emails that claim to be from ASIC

Priority Level: 
Moderate
16 January 2017

You are reminded to be wary of suspicious emails following a warning that scammers are targeting users of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission's (ASIC's) registry services.

ASIC-which provides public registers of companies, business names and finance industry professionals-has warned that scammers are sending some registry service users emails with attachments or links to fake invoices. The scammers are attempting to deceive users into thinking the emails come from ASIC itself.

ASIC Commissioner John Price says "scam emails often appear at busy times of the year such as holiday and tax time, when it's easy to overlook something suspicious."

This is the second time recently ASIC has warned that scammers are invoking its name in an attempt to deceive companies and individuals into providing financial details.

On 19 December ASIC warned of a scam email with the title 'Renewal' that informs companies they need to renew their registration. 'This renewal letter has not been issued by ASIC,' the warning says. 'If you receive this fraudulent email, please delete it. Do not click on the link to the renewal letter.'

Scammers regularly misuse the brands of prominent organisations to trick users into infecting their computers with malicious software.

Staying safe

You should be wary of unsolicited or unexpected emails that ask you to click on links or open attachments. Doing so may expose your computer to viruses, spyware, ransomware or other types of malicious software. If an email claims to be from a reputable organisation but you are unsure about its legitimacy, verify the message with the organisation concerned using contact details obtained from official websites or other sources (not from the message itself).

ASIC says 'if you are in doubt about the authenticity of an email that you receive from ASIC, you can phone us to verify on 1300 300 630 on weekdays from 8.30am to 6.00pm (local time in your state).'

You should also ensure you have antivirus and antispyware software on your computer and keep it up to date.

More information

Stay Smart Online has more information on protecting your email.

The information provided here is of a general nature. Everyone's circumstances are different. If you require specific advice you should contact your local technical support provider.