A prominent Australian CEO who believes himself to be “quite clever” disclosed how he lost $44,000 to two very complex share frauds.
The guy, identified only as Lawrence, shared his tale to warn others that it might happen to anybody, regardless of intelligence or education.
The Melbourne father operates a regulatory compliance company, holds a master’s degree, and invests regularly in stocks.
Even though he seemed to be certified by ASIC – the Australian Securities and Investments Commission – he nonetheless fell victim to fraud.
Despite his commercial success, losing $44,000 had a significant impact on his family’s funds, and he does not want others to experience the same thing.
As a cautionary tale, a guy from Melbourne has recounted how he fell victim to a stock fraud. A stock photograph depicts a distressed guy reading business information.
He was duped because he intended to invest in Rivian, a trendy American electric car business that was due to go public in November 2021.
Lawrence sought online for a means to purchase Rivian shares and discovered a purportedly British firm named Invystor that connected him with two separate brokers.
‘They scheduled a call from this Berenson Capital group,’ he said to news.com.au.
The website of Berenson Capital, which purported to be Australian, was quite sleek.
John Alexander, a man with a British accent, spoke with Lawrence and walked him through the procedure.
It seemed convincing, so he transferred $20,000 to a Commonwealth Bank account and invested the money.
Additionally, Invystor referred Lawrence to a second broker, Kingsway Capital Limited.
Then, he chatted with ‘Catherine Willows,’ who, like Alexander, had a British accent.
Lawrence deposited $24,655 to an American bank account after she informed him that they had access to certain Rivian initial public offering (IPO) shares.
$44,000 was stolen from an Australian individual who intended to participate in electric car manufacturer Rivian’s first public offering. Featured are Rivian automobiles
He did not make the two moves without first conducting what he believed to be enough research.
Lawrence enquired with ASIC on the validity of the brokerages’ licenses and examined internet reviews of them and their UK counterparts.
Kingsway Capital Limited is a legitimate corporation, but the one he was working with was a fraudulent imposter.
Lawrence stated that he felt foolish after conducting all the checks he deemed necessary and still being ripped off.
“It was a very distressing event. Simply put, I couldn’t get over how clever it was,’ he explained.
On its debut day as a publicly traded firm, 11 November 2021, Rivian was valued at about $130 billion ($88 billion).
Shareholders have been cautioned about fraudsters that “clone” reputable businesses in order to defraud investors. This is a stock photograph of a con artist.
Lawrence should have been paid, but neither of the brokerage firms he believed to have purchased shares from contacted him.
When he attempted to contact Berenson Capital, the phone rung and ‘John Alexander’ had apparently vanished.
The day following the IPO, Lawrence received an email informing him that Catherine Willows’ email address was no longer valid.
He suddenly realized that not only had he not profited from Rivian’s public debut, but he was also $44,000 in the red.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the United Kingdom’s equivalent to ASIC, later cautioned investors about crooks ‘cloning’ Kingsway Capital.
The notification stated, “Nearly all organizations and people conducting financial services operations in the United Kingdom must be authorized or registered by us.”
This company has been targeting individuals in the United Kingdom while falsely pretending to be an authorized company. This is what we refer to as a “clone firm.”
The FCA noted that in order to defraud investors, clone companies may mimic the name and other data of legitimate businesses.
Rivian, which was originally anticipated to compete with Tesla in the manufacture of electric vehicles, has seen its shares decline by roughly 67% since becoming public.
Infuriatingly, the fraudsters demanded that Lawrence provide them his passport information to verify his identity, which he did.
This leaves him vulnerable to being victimized again if, for example, criminals obtain loans and credit cards in his name.
The only ray of hope is that he received more than half of his money back.
Bendigo Bank, which made the transfer to the U.S. account, reimbursed him for the amount of $24,655.
A year later, however, the remaining $20,000 appears to be gone and irretrievable.
However, Rivian has also encountered some difficulties.
It recalled nearly all of its vehicles last month due to loose fasteners that could affect drivers’ ability to steer.
Rivian was once expected to compete with Tesla in the production of electric vehicles, but its stock price has decreased by nearly 67% since going public.