In the past month, I have experienced two unsolicited telemarketing calls which are now giving me concerns that this is a new trend in fraudulent and/or unregulated schemes.
The calls have had similar themes:
- they target people with properties, home businesses and retirees
- they assert they are funded by the Australian Government
- they assert that the Australian Government has created a scheme which is managed by the Australian Taxation Office
- they suggest that your income tax can be used to fund your retirement
- they try to win your confidence by asserting that other professionals (such as lawyers and accountants) and business owners have used their services
- they try to obtain an interest in your property or get you to borrow money using your property
There may be more intricate elements or arrangements which are being marketed to the public by telephone.
Before you provide any personal details to anyone offering financial services, you should firstly take care to identify the caller and verify they hold an Australian Financial Services License (AFSL).
Secondly, even if you are interested in participating in whatever service or arrangement is being offered, you should request a written copy of their product disclosure statement (PDS) and the contract you will be signing. Take these documents to your lawyer, accountant and/or financial planner to confirm whether participating in any scheme or arrangement is in your best interests.