INVESTING

Scammers are promising to help you access your super early

By

The scattergun approach of fraudsters looking to cash in on the early release of unaware Aussie's super has backfired, with one scammer copping an earful from a financial planner he tried to swindle.

Fraudsters are posing as agents from superannuation authorities in an attempt to rip-off unsuspecting superannuation members.

By midday on March 26, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission had received 19 Scamwatch reports from concerned members of the public who had been contacted by people purporting to be from various fake superannuation authorities, offering to help unaware superannuation members ensure they aren't 'locked out of their account by the new rules'.

coronavirus early access to super scams scammers

An ACCC spokesperson told Financial Standard the scams have increased since the government announced Australians suffering financial stress as a result of the economic impacts of COVID-19 could access up to $10,000 of their superannuation balance this year, and a further $10,000 in the next financial year.

The ACCC said almost all the reports it has received were about cold calls, with scammers claiming to be from various authorities and bodies including the "National Review Team", "Advisory Committee", "Superannuation Compliance", and "National Superannuation Board".

An ACCC spokesperson said "scammers have used a variety of excuses to request information about superannuation accounts", including ensuring the person is not locked out of their account "by the new rules", checking whether the person's superannuation account is eligible for various benefits or deals, and offering to help the person access the money in their superannuation.

One superannuation member the scammers would not have hoped to answer their unsolicited calls is Argurion Finance Group principal Chris Craggs.

Craggs told Financial Standard about how a scammer attempted to steal his superannuation, completely unaware of the fact Craggs was a financial planner.

"He started off by saying 'I want to discuss how we can help you gain access to superannuation'. So straight off the bat, no messing around," Craggs said.

Craggs said the thought forefront in his mind was how unethical the practice of scamming ordinary Australians out of their superannuation really is.

"I'm sitting there thinking, 'You people are just randomly calling people', because there's no way anybody who looked me up on Google would go, 'This guy would be a good mark.'"

Craggs asked the scammer for his AFSL number.

"He literally could not repeat back AFSL to me," Craggs said.

"I said do you understand the anti-hawking provisions? Nothing. And I went, 'Mate what you're doing is illegal. You're not allowed to do this'.

"Forget about legalities, this is not ethical what they're doing."

An ensuing social media post about the encounter may end up saving the super of many Australians, after it led the Australian Tax Office to get in touch.

"I've already had the ATO ring me today [Thursday] and say 'Please give us as many details as you can,'" Craggs said.

"Hats off to the ATO."

Earlier this week Intrust Super and the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees both warned superannuation members of the dangers posed by scammers who were attempting to use the government's early access initiative as a way to swindle Aussies out of their retirement savings.

This article was first published by Financial Standard

We're cutting through the confusion to help you manage your money during the coronavirus outbreak. Click here for more on how COVID-19 could affect your job, budget, super and investments.

RELATED STORIES

TAGS

Harrison Worley is a journalist at Financial Standard, and associate editor of superannuation journal FS Super. He previously crafted business to business content for Vodafone's RedWire blog. Harrison holds a Bachelor's degree in Media from the University of New South Wales, specialising in Public Relations and Advertising.
Comments
Nick Bisin
May 19, 2020 3.26pm

I had a phone call from "National Review Team" 0488823058 asking questions about my Super and the insurance with the fund. Once I've declined the necessity of it as my Super is already consolidated, they offer other options to save money and started asking about my mortgage. Declined as I'm renting. they said goodbye

Brett Shaw
May 27, 2020 12.49pm

I also received phone calls from National Review Team from two numbers 0488822787 and 0488824042 also trying to scam super.

I wonder how the scammers seem to be spoofing their phone number in the 048882xxxx range

D Hough
June 10, 2020 11.48am

I just had a call from the national Review Team also from 0488 823 036 regarding my Super. I told them if the govt want to discuss my super they can email me and she hung up - but was quite persistent for information prior to this. Infuriating.

Sandy Cooper
June 10, 2020 3.11pm

Just had a call from 0488 823 278, from an overseas call centre saying they are the "National Review Team", and that the Government is going to cancel inactive superannuation accounts with insurance attached. I said no thanks as she started into the script of questions. She had my mobile number and name already. Calling them back gave them my caller ID and name, so they're moderately well organised on their call centre.

simone mayberry
June 11, 2020 12.37pm

I just had a call from 'National Review Team' and starting talking about the government freezing my super if its inactive. Blah Blah. Apart from the strong accent and not fully understanding. She got 10 seconds in before I hung up and blocked her number. 0488 810 103. How do these scammers get our names and number? Those found selling our information should be fined! I fear them knowing your name will give victims a false sense of security with these scum.

Lena Fleming
June 11, 2020 12.41pm

I want to say Big Thank You everyone who helped me understand about this SCAM "National Review Team" Just had a call from 0488822576

Robyn McLean
June 11, 2020 1.39pm

Great to find this information. Just had a call from 0488 822 568 - the 'National Review Team' - sniffed a rat in about two seconds in. Asked her some questions about who they providing a review to etc. and she couldn't answer, no thank you, goodbye. Isn't there enough going on already??

Elena Gilbert
August 12, 2020 11.34am

They are just people trying to do their jobs. Nothing will be lost if you will just open up your mind and try to understand. I've been called by the National Review Team and their financial advisor helped me a lot. Nothing was taken from me. Not even my personal details. They were very careful.

Natasha Webb
June 11, 2020 3.20pm

Yes, they have called me 3 times this week. The last mobile number they called from was 0488 811 314. I wasn't sure if they were Gov so I made them repeat the name of their company and googled it. Thankful that this Money mag article came up in my Search results!

Anonymous Citizen
June 11, 2020 3.45pm

Thank you very much for this article. I just had a call from the "National Review Team" from 0488 822 579 asking about my super and mortgage situation. The person was prepared for questions and forwarded me links to their company etc. Lucky for me I was on the computer googling "national review team".

Yaint Gettin Me
June 12, 2020 11.51am

Yep I also just got a call from the "national review team". Number was 0488 823 291, but they probably have access to a large pool of Australian phone numbers through some calling service.

Jacki Barnes
June 12, 2020 12.48pm

I've just received a call from the National Review Team from ph 0488 823 291 talking about the recent Aust Govt changes to superannuation. Said they'll call back Monday after 8am to discuss options. Needless to say, after googling this I've now found out it is a scam, i won't be taking the call - thank you! I did answer a few basic questions about my age bracket, working full-time and working in Aust for at least 8 yrs- felt unsure about the call but those questions didn't seem too personal at the time..... but kicking myself for not shutting down the call earlier. Certainly won't be speaking to them on Monday!

Wil Smith
June 16, 2020 5.33pm

I did the same thing. Has there been any consequences?

P B
July 27, 2020 11.55am

Got the call from the dirty scams tel 040448823952 same blurb about changes to insurance /super ..

what gets me is why Aust Fed police does nothing about this for years in this country overseas scammers can obtain peoples restricted house and mobile phones and these people cause financial hardship to many unsuspecting victims , because not all people are switched on , these low lives use "official names and terms" and some believe them and pay the price ..So come on Aust authorities pull your finger and do better job protecting Aussie citizen from foreign criminals.

lauren acreman
August 28, 2020 5.26pm

Exactly same thing happened to me today. The number was 0488 847 657. She calling from Nation Wide Review and said her name is Ellen but when I asked her last name she sounded irritated. She said her finance manager will call me on Monday to advise about the changes and superannuation investments. Later, I got a text message from a different number, 0401 774 563, thanking me about the earlier phone call & confirming about the phone call on Monday. But this time the message says that they are Superannuation Advice Australia (even given their FSLN 517548) rather than Nation Wide Review. I think they are the same scammer. I am getting too many scam calls (insurances, superannuation, electricity bills, etc.) nowadays and not sure why the Govt cannot do any thing about it. I cannot just ignore all phone calls even if I don't know the number because many of my clients are also calling me too. It is very annoying....

Steven PRITCHARD
June 15, 2020 10.56am

I had these turds call me too, o488 823 696 they asked for a name that I didn't know. When I told them it was not me they started going into a spiel about super. I hung up on them and blocked the nunber.

Md H
June 15, 2020 6.29pm

Same issues with caller I'd is 0488823691. She introduce herself National Review Team, Australia , pat. Vice tone looks like Philippine.

Wil Smith
June 16, 2020 5.32pm

0488823688, National Review Team called. Got my last name wrong and asked a few questions, am I between the ages of 27 and 58? Am I working full time and have I been working for over 12 years in Australia. They then said they would text me their business license number and get back to me tomorrow. Obviously, I won't be taking their call but I'm worried about my information.

R Gib
June 19, 2020 7.11pm

Just received a call from 0488823620 caller identified himself as Darryl from Superannuation National Review Team. Very strong accent. Said he wanted to discuss new superannuation rules. When I requested a number to call him back, he said 'well don't worry about it then". He had my name and phone number though, so that has been accessed somewhere. Blocked this number but I can see above, they have many other numbers they are using all starting with 048882xxxx.

Margaret Unknown
June 19, 2020 7.22pm

I also had a call their number was 0488 823 620

What bothers me is how they got my number and knew my name. I am a silent number.

They said they were from The National Renew Team then proceeded to ask what age group I was in etc. it was a female with a foreign accent. After me replying No to all the different age groups I was I had had enough and told her to get of my line or I would call the police then hung up. It was obvious to me she was scamming. Bothers me how she knew my name though even though she pronounced it wrong.

Karen Haskard
July 6, 2020 7.04pm

I received a call from National Review Team today. Smelt a rat straight away. I used to work in the financial planning industry and know my super and the super rules. Luckily for me.

It's a well run scam and it would be easy for people to be convinced to fall for it.

My concern is how they got my phone number (I'm on the do not call register) and that the man also called me by my name.

I cut him off quickly and told him that I'm a financial planner, that I was was sure he was a scammer and his response was I'll note that and he hung up.

Marivic Patos
July 28, 2020 5.39pm

I just received a call from a very rude female from phone number 02 57374691 and as soon as I said I wasn't interested she retorted before quickly hanging up, "...then why did you answer, then we will just have to call you back! "...sick of these scammers!

J S
July 30, 2020 12.45pm

Received a call on my mobile from 0488 824 539 which I did not answer as I do not take any calls from unknown numbers. I looked up the number on - https://www.reverseaustralia.c... to find comments similar to here then I rang the number back with 1831 in front of the number (this hides my number) and it was answered by a well-spoken male with an Indian accent with "Nationwide Review Team". I held on for 30 secs or so but did not speak at all. I then googled "nationwide review team calls" which gave this site 1st on the list. Certainly can see plenty of helpful comments here, thank you for this article.

I have to say, I fully agree with PB's comments on July 27 saying why can't the regulatory authorities do something about these many scam callers that are easily managing to steal the hard-earned monies from many unsuspecting, vulnerable people. I feel that they can do something about this but it's just in the too hard or too expensive basket ! These people need to be dealt with !

As if we haven't already got enough to deal with in our everyday lives.

J m
September 17, 2020 11.06am

Just had a south-east asian sounding person call me from National Review Team in "Broadbeach" ph no. 0488 825 467. Asking me if I have received a letter from my super company, talking about insurance and a government review or something....

Post a comment
Link to something PNuO2JTP