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Australian watchdog sets up its own Web scam

Cons millions of dollars out of people -– let that be a lesson to you

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If you ever doubted that there's one born every minute, this could be the proof you’re looking for. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has owned up to running its own Web investments scam. To coincide with April Fool's Day, the Commission ran a series of ads pretending to be a start-up company in need of backers, according to the London Evening Standard. The Commission acts as the industry watchdog and is on a mission to highlight the danger of Internet fraud. It claimed to be offering Y2K bug insurance, and said investors could look forward to profits in excess of 200 per cent. The bogus company was said to have been set up by Swiss businessmen. The report said that some 10,000 people visited the site and 233 of these were willing to part with cash, investing between A$10,000 and A$50,000 each. The total bagged by the scam -– A$4 million (£1.63 million). Not bad for a day’s work. Details of the scam can be found at the ASIC Web site. ®

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