13 stories this week:


Young Aussies are turning to crypto investment to create wealth, but there’s a dark side – 6 May 2021
It seems that more and more people own or plan to buy cryptocurrency by the end of the year. Barney Tan, an Associate Professor of Business Information Systems at the University of Sydney Business School, said the interest in digital currencies is being driven by online hype, rising prices and FOMO. Barney also warns just like with any investment, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Last year there were more than 3,000 cryptocurrency scam reports made to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission worth almost $30 million in losses. https://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/young-aussies-crypto-scams/13332674


(access to AFR required to read article)

AMA sues ex-CEO in $2.4M lawsuit – 7 May 2021
AMA, known as the biggest ‘smash repair’ business in Australia, is suing its former CEO Andy Hopkins over alleged anomalies in his spending. The defendant has been accused of claiming bonuses and incurring expenses inappropriately. The company said the Federal Court aims to secure $2.4m from Hopkins covering unauthorised expenses and a loan.


Top law firm’s invoices exposed to ANZ which employees were cooperating with ASIC investigation – 7 May 2021
During a 2014 investigation into alleged market manipulation, a group of employees at ANZ believed they were secretly giving information to the corporate regulator. What they did not know is that their lawyers, were revealing how much time and contact they had with ASIC, to their employer in invoices. This exposed the methodology behind the anonymisation technique and unmasked those employees who were meeting frequently with ASIC investigators.


Australians targeted by fake myGov email phishing scam – 7 May 2021
Australians are being warned of a new email scam in which hackers pose as myGov employees and then proceed to steal the bank details of unsuspecting victims.


Melbourne man allegedly posing as Uber driver scams $75,000 from unsuspecting passengers – 7 May 2021
Muhammad Umer has been accused of posing as an Uber driver who allegedly preyed on intoxicated revellers and lured them into his car to swipe their credit cards. He has been accused of taking more than $75,000 from 14 alleged victims.


Fraudulent debt collector jailed for almost 5 years – 7 May 2021
The court heard that Robert Cree ran number of debt recovery companies. Investigators found that the business was cold calling organisations, offering debt recovery services following payment of a subscription fee. In most cases, debts were never recovered and no service was provided. In the company’s liquidation, he also impersonated the company’s director to deceive the Official Receiver.


Does your business really need to keep that data? – 8 May 2021
Industry Professor Phillip Magness at Deakin’s Centre for Cyber Security Research and Innovation, argues businesses should carefully consider how much personal information they keep, given the risks of a data breach. Furthermore, the Australian Privacy Principles require an entity that is bound by the Privacy Act, to take reasonable steps to destroy or de-identify personal information, when it is no longer needed for any purpose, for which it was collected.


Rio’s Mozambique ‘whistleblower’ complained of ‘obfuscation’ – 10 May 2021
The former Rio Tinto executive (Preston Chiaro) portrayed as blowing the whistle on the miner’s Mozambique coal scandal, felt he encountered ” obfuscation’ ‘ when he raised evidence in 2012 that the mines valuation was worth much less than its official carrying value.


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Smash-repairer expense claims entangle more AMA executives – 10 May 2021
AMA has alleged that several executives were tied up in illicit payments at Australia’s biggest smash repairer, including dummying up invoices to cover their tracks. The claims are contested by executives tied up in the matter, who maintain they were entitled to payments and the monies were all approved.


Access to Digital version of AFR required

Qld gourmet foodie admits tax scam – 10 May 2021
A gourmet gluten-free foodie was part of a sophisticated multimillion-dollar tax scam to pay for a friend’s luxury mansion has escaped jail. The two acted to defraud the commonwealth of over 3.6 million dollars, by setting up a fake cancer research and development tax offset claim.


Sinister COVID trend sees online love scams target younger victims – 11 May 2021
Australians lost more than $37 million to romance scams in the past year. A younger demographic is now the target of online thieves, as the popularity of dating apps grows with cryptocurrency and investment fraud being the new weapons of choice.


Internal emails reveal WHO knew of sex abuse claims in Congo – 13 May 2021
WHO has been facing widespread public allegations of systemic abuse of women by unnamed staffers in Congo during the Ebola outbreak. Emails, recordings of internal meetings, legal documents and interviews with dozens of aid workers and WHO staffers show WHO declined to comment on any specific sex abuse allegations or how they were managed and said it had taken steps to address the problem.


Crown and Star to phase out cash at all casinos to counter money-laundering fears – 14 May 2021
Australia’s biggest casino operators, Crown Resorts and The Star, have agreed to phase out cash from all of their casinos in an effort to prevent criminals from laundering money through their gaming tables.