Interview on The Project (Channel 10) – 8 July 2012

CARRIE BICKMORE: More of us are being targeted by scammers. Crime Commission stats show over the past five years, twenty six hundred Aussies have been ripped-off from online or phone scans, costing us millions. Educated retirees are the top target, with fraudsters getting their personal details from competition forms.

WALEED ALY: Jason Clare is the Minister for Home Affairs.

Jason, this report says that fraudsters have duped one-hundred-and-thirteen million dollars from Aussies in the past five years. That’s a lot of competition forms.

JASON CLARE: G’day Waleed. Well, about ten Australians lose their superannuation to this scam every week.

This is how it works. One day you get a phone call from a company based overseas, telling you they can make you a lot of money. They send you details about a website that’s fake. They send you brochures that are fake. You invest money in the company. Then, if you look on the website, you see that your money is going up and up and up. You invest more money in the company. Then one day the website disappears and so does all of your money.

CARRIE BICKMORE: Now you guys are doing a big mail-out to warn people of the dangers but do you think the criminals are just too quick and sophisticated for you though?

JASON CLARE: Well Carrie, most of these criminals are based overseas. Most of them are based in Asia. That is why it is really important to get this message out to Australians. Make sure that they know what this scam is before they send their money overseas. Because once the money is gone; it is very hard to get it back.

We’ve got about a trillion dollars worth of superannuation invested here in Australia and that’s what the criminals are looking to get their hands on. That’s why, over the next two months, we will write to all Australian homes telling them about this investment fraud, so people know what to look out for before they get hit.

DAVID HUGHES: Mate, how are we going to know the mail is really from you? You are not going to be asking me for money are you?

JASON CLARE: Well Hughesy, that’s the key question. If the letter has got information in it, then you know it is legit. If the letter says give me some money, throw that letter in bin.

CARRIE BICKMORE: I don’t think Hughesy reads any of his mail anyway so I don’t think it’s a problem.

WALEED ALI: Jason, thanks very much for your time tonight.

JASON CLARE: Good on you. Thanks guys.

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