Expat investors warned against Uber boiler room fraud

Published:  28 Nov at 6 PM
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The latest investment fraud warning to expats in New Zealand, Australia and South East Asia involves two fake companies with misleading websites.

Expatriates retiring, living and working in Asia Pacific countries are the latest to be targeted by British boiler room fraudsters located in Bangkok, Manila and Cebu. According to an online investigative journalist, two websites pretending to be based in Oregon and New York are, in fact, no more than fronts for the boiler room scams.

The scammers are reported as promoting the online taxi-booking company Uber as the next high-yield investment, in spite of the fact that Uber has not released a share offer. Cold calling is the main means of contact, with salesmen operating from the three boiler room locations persuade inexperienced expat investors to transfer money to a given bank account.

According to sources, both boiler room scams are pulling in expat punters from across Asia, with one focusing successfully on New Zealand and Australia and the other active in South East Asia. It’s believed the masterminds behind these new scams are crooks who successfully operated out of Bangkok some 15 years ago until raided by the Australian police.

Governemtns in both the Philippines and Thailand have been less than effective in stopping boiler room activity in their countries, leaving a large number of inexperienced foreigners bereft of most if not all of their life savings. Profits from the operations are believed to have been invested in sex and entertainment industries in both countries’ capital cities.

In addition to boiler room scams, expat life across the vast majority of favourite locations from Asia through to sunny European beach resorts has been blighted for decades by the activities of illegal, unqualified independent financial advisors greedy for the high commissions offered by offshore insurance companies. The worst was the Australian LMIM Ponzi scheme, touted by IFAs up until three weeks before its closure, with total losses amounting to many millions.
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