The technological shift to perpetual mobile connectivity has opened the door for fraudsters all over the country to engage in scam activity on an unforeseen level, and both the people and the industries of Australia are paying for it. 

Fraud persists problematically throughout the world, and Australia is no exception. A 2019 article from ITnews estimates that the country lost $455 million dollars in a single year, which was actually down from previous years. 

Below, we’ll talk about a couple of standout cases of fraud in Australia and talk about some ways they could have been prevented. 

The $2.3 Million International Money Laundering Scam

In November of 2020, police arrested a pair of men accused of scamming 9 people out of millions of dollars. 

Here’s how the scheme worked: The victims were contacted by an unidentifiable person who persuaded them to invest in allegedly low-risk and high-return ventures. 

One of the fraudsters, a Mr. Esephan, would transfer the money to accounts under his Sydney-based company, A.C.E. Global Consulting. The company sells itself as an award-winning business consulting and investment banking firm. The funds were then transferred to offshore accounts, which was unauthorized as the company hadn’t been registered with AUSTRAC as a remittance business. 

To keep the investors from getting suspicious, the men would periodically hand out small sums of money as supposed returns on the investments, and this would encourage the victims to invest even more. This is a common tactic of investment scammers, and when they receive enough money they simply vanish and leave the investors high and dry. 

How to Protect Against Investment Fraud

There are several methods for arming yourself against investment frauds like the one mentioned above, but the first line of defense is to trust your gut. If somebody is promising unrealistically high returns for a small investment, then it’s probably too good to be true. Another red flag to look out for is if the person is putting on a lot of pressure to invest.

Ask for a prospectus or offering circular. If the person making the pitch tries to tell you it’s not necessary, walk away immediately. Never invest in something until you have written material about the company and the investment.  

Also, it’s important to always verify the license of the person you’re investing with and that the investment is registered. This will help make sure that everything is occurring above board in a manner that is regulated. 

Lastly, always be skeptical about online investment opportunities, especially on social media. Do as much research as possible. Even in legitimate opportunities, somebody is making money from your investment, and you need to know how much they’re taking. 

The $11 Million Identity Fraud Mastermind

In February of 2020, a man was arrested by Australian authorities for masterminding an identity theft scheme that cost more than 100 Australians over $11 million. 

Adam Jones, a health and fitness intern, was found to have in his possession a mass of digital folders, each containing victims’ personal information. Drivers’ licenses, passports, tax returns, addresses, medicare claims, payslips, and more were all within easy reach. 

He used that information to make profiles and bank accounts under the victims’ names and do everything from making purchases on credit to transferring money from their accounts to his. On one occasion, he photoshopped a selfie of an unknown woman to open a cryptocurrency account. Authorities even found evidence of him forging a Justice of the Peace’s signature for legal documents. 

Many of Jones’s victims had no idea their identity had even been compromised. Many may still not know. One thing is for sure: His trail of financial devastation was massive. In the end, some of his victims lost their entire lives’ savings. 

How Did It Happen and How Can It be Prevented?

Authorities aren’t 100% sure how Jones got all of that personal information, but speculation points to the dark web. 

Millions of people all around the world have their personal data stolen from online merchants, banking organizations, phishing scams, and more on a yearly basis. A lot of that information ends up on the dark web where scammers and fraudsters sell it to criminals and criminal organizations. 

This is a problem that requires defense on several fronts. Individuals have to be vigilant about protecting their information. That means never giving out credit card numbers or other information until the recipient has been vetted. It’s also smart to always use a trusted third-party payment protection system like PayPal when making online purchases. 

Companies also need to take a bigger hand in protecting their customers and their own information from breaches. Anti-fraud technology has made significant advancements in doing just that, with tools like intelligent customer identity verification and data mining that use AI and machine learning. has a team of experienced anti-fraud personnel who know how to protect companies from fraud and data theft on any scale and keep their customer information safe and secured. If you’re interested in exploring our fraud protection capabilities, An entire suite of fraud prevention tools is available today from