Companies you should not deal with
List of unlicensed companies
If you have received a call or email from someone you don't
know offering you a great investment opportunity or a loan, be
very wary. The caller may be a scammer trying to take your money.
Scams come from companies operating overseas and Australia.
Australians lose millions of dollars every year to scams and you do
not want to be the next victim.
Protect yourself by checking this list of companies and
individuals that are not licensed by ASIC. If the company that
called you is on this list, do not deal with them.
Check the list of
The businesses listed below have made unsolicited calls and emails to
Australians and do not hold a current Australian Financial Services
licence or Australian Credit Services Licence from ASIC.
Although new names are added as quickly as possible, this
is not a comprehensive list.
Names recently added to the list (most recent at the top):
See also the list of fake regulators and
exchanges. No genuine government regulators exist under the
names on this list.
scammers target Australians
Many scams come from companies based overseas. These scammers
target Australians because ASIC does not have international
jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute them. However, ASIC can
notify the regulator in the scammer's country so that the
regulator may pursue these illegal activities.
See investment scams for more detailed
information on how these scams work and what questions to ask to
check their legitimacy.
See banking and credit card
scams for more information on these types of scams.
What if a name is not on the
Check for a licence
If you have been phoned or emailed by an investment company
that is not on the list of unlicensed companies, you should search
for their name on ASIC's Australian
Financial Services licensee register to see if they are
If you have been contacted by someone offering to loan you money
or find you a loan, check both the Australian
Credit Services Licensee Register and the Australian
Credit Representatives Register.
If the company or person is not licensed, do not deal with
them and report them. Reporting them allows ASIC
to warn others.
Remember that although most overseas businesses selling
overseas investments to Australians usually require an Australian
Financial Services (AFS) licence, there are a few exceptions.
Australian companies need an AFS licence to legally sell
investments in Australia.
Check overseas lists
Overseas companies can be regulated by the securities commission
in their own country. You can check who regulates them outside
Australia by going to the IOSCO (International Organization of Securities
Commissions) website. Then you can contact the appropriate overseas
regulator or search its website to ensure that a company of that
name is registered or licensed by them.
You can also check IOSCO's investor
alerts where you can search for overseas companies that are not
authorised to provide investments services in the country that
has issued the alert.
Check the address
You will need to double check that you are really dealing
with a legitimate company by checking the company's address
held by the regulator and also cross checking it in a phone
directory. This is to ensure you are dealing with the company
itself and not an impostor pretending to be that company.
See investment scams for more details on
how to check the legitimacy of an investment scam.
How ASIC can help if you have been
ASIC wants you to report all investment and loan scams.
Even if we cannot prosecute the scammers, we may be able to warn
other people. You should also warn your family and friends to stop
them from becoming victims. Please note that generally, ASIC cannot
help you get your money back if you have sent it to an overseas
company as these companies are out of our jurisdiction.
To find out what we can and can't do when you tell us about a
scam, go to our report a scam webpage.
Checking our unlicensed companies list is one of
the first steps you can take to protect yourself from scams.
Last updated: 28 Feb 2014
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