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Scammers hijack boutique planning AFSL

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has issued a warning on a "cold calling investment scam" that is using the details of a legitimate independent planning business.

ASIC said it believed 'Prestige Private Wealth' was associated with a group of fraudulent financial services businesses against whom ASIC obtained orders in the Supreme Court of Queensland on 31 October 2012.

'Prestige Private Wealth' is also fraudulently using the Australian business number (ABN), Australian company number (ACN) and Australian financial services licence (AFSL) number of independently-owned Sydney-based planning practice Prestige Wealth Planning. Prestige Wealth Planning has no connection to 'Prestige Private Wealth', ASIC stated.

The scam involved cold calling consumers to offer them the opportunity to invest in a managed share trading fund operated by "experienced stock brokers", according to ASIC.

The 'Prestige Private Wealth' website claims the company "is a fully independent and privately owned stockbroking business."

"As licensed members of the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and holders of an Australian financial services licence, we offer a complete range of stockbroking services over all Australian listed securities and derivatives," the site claims.

ASIC said it was taking steps to block the fraudulent website. At the time of writing the website, www.prestigeprivatewealth.com, was still live and still quoting the same ABN, ACN and AFSL associated with Prestige Wealth Planning on the ASIC companies register.