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 unlicensed companies

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):

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #
 

See also the list of fake regulators and exchanges. No genuine government regulators exist under the names on this list.

Why overseas 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 list?

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 licensed. 

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 scammed

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.


Related links

Gerstein Global Futures

Last updated: 01 Apr 2014

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