ASIC warns consumers about dodgy website promoting foreign exchange broker First Forex

If you’re looking to transfer money overseas, beware of the “fake” website, which is promoting foreign exchange broker First Forex, claiming that their services are “under the regulation of Australia (Regulation No. 290600)”.

The Australian Securities Investments Commission (ASIC) warned the website is falsely making this claim and ASIC commissioner Greg Tanzer said neither First Forex, FiFx or FiFX Global are registered Australian companies, nor are their services regulated as a financial services business under Australian law.

“The website, appears to be operated overseas and refers to an Australian company that is in no way associated with First Forex.”

Tanzer said consumers should only deal with financial services providers who are licensed by ASIC. “Licensed companies and individuals are required to meet stringent requirements under Australian law, the purpose of which is to protect consumers."

You can compare rates from a list of international money transfer providers in Australia including banks and foreign currency specialists in Mozo’s foreign exchange hub.

MoneySmart advised consumers to watch out for the following warning signs to identify a scam:

1. Requests to transfer money upfront to an overseas-based account or to a person overseas, or requests to pay taxes or fees before a loan can be provided.

2. Repeated telephone calls or emails.

3. Offers of an interest rate substantially lower than what is available from legitimate lenders.

4. Offers of a free period before any repayments have to be made.

5. The loan provider says that they do not do any credit checks and will lend money to consumers with past financial problems.

6. The loan provider pressures consumers to make a quick decision.

For more helpful advice on transferring money overseas, read Mozo's guide on common mistakes made when moving cash overseas and how to avoid them.