ASIC gull swoops down on Internet scam

THE Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s Novem-ber Gull Award winner has drawn notice to a scheme that could financially devastate those who joined it.

The anonymous winner reported a stockmarket pyramid scheme being promoted in country areas. The scheme operates on the Internet via a ‘virtual stockmarket’ and boasts of turning $300 into $147,000 over twelve months – profits virtually impossible to achieve.

It works by trading shares of virtual companies on a virtual stockmarket. The participant opens an account and once the person has made a sufficient ‘return’ on the ‘investment’, the group is notified and supposedly sends a cheque.

The suspicious Gull winner logged onto the scheme’s website and found it was a game registered in the Dominican Republic that did not guarantee any profits at all.

The ASIC is concerned the scheme will appeal to people doing it tough who may be susceptible to the lure of unbelievable profits and prepared to risk losing everything.

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