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ASIC warns Aborigines about schemes

By Madeleine Collins
 — 1 minute read
Aboriginal communities have been promised big returns for as little as $10.
The corporate regulator has warned Aboriginal communities to look out for scams after concerns about an illegal managed investment scheme targeting the New South Wales south coast.

ASIC unearthed a venture that has tried to lured investors in Aboriginal communities into joining a revolving wealth creation scheme.

The investors would be divided up into groups to invest funds every week for three months then each take turns to dip into the accumulated money pool.

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The scheme promised investors that they could turn ten dollars into $1000 or higher amounts.

"ASIC's enquiries found that the scheme never got off the ground but we are concerned that Aboriginal communities may be especially vulnerable to promoters of illegal schemes who promise large returns from affordable weekly contributions," ASIC executive director of consumer protection Greg Tanzer said.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia recently funded a three-year financial counselling service for a remote Aboriginal community in South Australia.

The bank came under fire early last year over problems with its lending practices to Indigenous people in South Australia, North Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Some personal loans that were arranged through brokers had left borrowers over-committed and unable to afford the repayments.

Many of the borrowers were dependent on Centrelink payments for their incomes.

The bank had acknowledged defects in its procedures and policies and said the problems were unintentional.

ASIC warns Aborigines about schemes
Aboriginal communities have been promised big returns for as little as $10.
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