Superannuation watchdog warns about SMSF crypto-scams

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on January 18, 2022 Fact Checked
Superannuation watchdog warns about SMSF crypto-scams

ASIC said it has identified an increase in marketing encouraging Aussies to switch to SMSFs so they can invest in a ‘high return’ portfolio.

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission also warned superannuation is an attractive target for scammers, and crypto-assets are a "high risk and speculative investment."

"ASIC is reminding superannuation fund members it is best practice to seek advice from a licensed financial adviser before agreeing to transfer superannuation out of a regulated fund into an SMSF," ASIC's statement read.

The rise of cryptocurrency has seen millions lost to online scams throughout the past 12 months.

A release from the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) revealed that Australians were on track to lose a total of $140 million by the end of 2021 to online scams.

ASIC's report cautioned those considering switching to an SMSF to seek advice from a licensed financial adviser.

"Do not rely on social media ads or online contact from someone promoting an investment opportunity," ASIC said.

"Be wary of people ‘cold calling’, text messaging, or emailing you with a recommendation to transfer your super to an SMSF, or invest in crypto-assets via your SMSF."

Also read:

Investing into crypto-assets

"Australians who decide to self-manage their super should consider the risks before using their SMSF to invest in crypto-assets," ASIC said.

"As the trustee of your SMSF, you ultimately bear responsibility for the fund’s decisions and for complying with the law even if you rely on other people’s advice – licensed or otherwise.

"If you decide to set up an SMSF, you should seek professional advice to determine what investments to make.

"There are rules governing investments the SMSF can make and taxation consequences for investments, including cryptocurrencies."


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Looking to take control of your retirement? This table below features SMSF loans with some of the most competitive interest rates on the market.

Lender

Variable
More details
SELF MANAGED SUPER FUND LOAN
  • Easy refinance process
  • No application fee and no settlement fee
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SELF MANAGED SUPER FUND LOAN

SMSF 80

  • Easy refinance process
  • No application fee and no settlement fee
  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees
Variable
More details
  • Easy refinance process
  • No application fee and no settlement fee
  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees

Ocean SMSF (No Offset) (Metro) (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 60%)

  • Easy refinance process
  • No application fee and no settlement fee
  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees
Variable
More details
  • Easy refinance process
  • No application fee and no settlement fee
  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees

SMSF 70 (Refinance)

  • Easy refinance process
  • No application fee and no settlement fee
  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees
Variable
More details
  • Easy refinance process
  • No application fee and no settlement fee
  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees

SMSF Loan (Interest Only) (LVR < 60%)

  • Easy refinance process
  • No application fee and no settlement fee
  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees
Variable
More details
  • Easy refinance process
  • No application fee and no settlement fee
  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees

Liberty SuperCredit SMSF (LVR < 60%)

  • Easy refinance process
  • No application fee and no settlement fee
  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees
Variable
More details
  • Easy refinance process
  • No application fee and no settlement fee
  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees

SMSF Residential

  • Easy refinance process
  • No application fee and no settlement fee
  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees
Variable
More details
  • Easy refinance process
  • No application fee and no settlement fee
  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees

SMSF 70 (Purchase) (New Customer)

  • Easy refinance process
  • No application fee and no settlement fee
  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees

Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to be made on variables as selected and input by the user. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the Product Provider’s web site. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you. *The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of May 26, 2022. View disclaimer.


Image by Aaron Andrew Ang via Unsplash

Disclaimers

The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered. Some providers' products may not be available in all states. To be considered, the product and rate must be clearly published on the product provider's web site. Savings.com.au, yourmortgage.com.au, yourinvestmentpropertymag.com.au, and Performance Drive are part of the Savings Media group. In the interests of full disclosure, the Savings Media Group are associated with the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings Media Group manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please visit the web site links at the bottom of this page.

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Aaron joined Savings.com.au in 2021. He is a finance journalist with a keen interest in property, the share market, and improving financial literacy in young Australians.

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