As the end of the financial year approaches, companies should beware seasonal scams targeting Australian registered businesses under the guise of ‘renewal notices’ for company and business names.

Scammers posing as Australian Securities & Investments Commission Registry officials have been contacting ASIC customers requesting personal information and the payment of annual renewal fees for their company or business. Adopting ASIC’s standard formatting, the emails are highly realistic and contain a link to an invoice with fake payment information. Clicking the link may also infect your computer with malware or other malicious software.

ASIC is warning customers to be wary of suspicious emails and alert to the warning signs, such as emails that:

  • request a payment over the phone;
  • request a payment in order to process a refund; or
  • ask for bank or credit card details over email or phone.

Click here to view an example of the scam email from 13 June 2017.

The scam represents a continuation in the global popularity of fraudulent intellectual property (IP) scams, which manipulate businesses by masquerading as legitimate agencies offering IP protection, renewal and registration.