Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Super Scammers

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Super Scammers

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Reid

BE warned, there are scammers active in our local area promoting illegal access to your super.

It has recently come to Australian Tax Office's attention that scammers have been taking fees as high as $4000 and encouraging people to illegally access their superannuation savings early.

Simply, Australians can only access their super once they've turned 65 or reached preservation age and stopped working. Any other circumstances that allow people to legally access their super are limited and rare. The preservation age in Australia is 55 for people born before July 1960. Seek advice if you would like more details.

This is a dangerous and rapidly expanding fraud scheme that has managed to dupe many people across Australia into believing it is legal to access their super before time. The target for this scheme has generally been people who are looking for money to pay a debt, make a hefty purchase, or need to provide money to family overseas, etc.

These are typically people who have not have engaged with their super before, and have small to medium super balances. The scheme seems to be actively promoted in shopping centres and must be halted immediately.

"Attempting to access your super early in this way is illegal, and people need to be aware of the financial dangers of falling prey to these promoters. These people could cost you a big part of your hard-earned retirement savings......." Deputy Commissioner James O'Halloran of the ATO said in a statement.

Passing themselves off as accountants and financial advisers, these fraudulent promoters are assuring people arrangements for accessing their super are legal by establishing a self-managed super fund.

If you establish a SMSF you can not help yourself to the funds. The funds must be kept separate. You are expressly prohibited from paying off personal debt, using the money for a home deposit or any other personal benefit now.

Scammers are trying to convince people to break the law and charge a large fee to do so. …

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