Earlier this year, Mary* contacted the Forexposed to share an unusual experience she had with a company purporting to assist her in acquiring shares in Starlink, the global satellite-based internet venture founded by Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX.
Despite limited knowledge of the stock market, Mary, who had a Sharesies kids’ account, expressed interest in purchasing Starlink shares after being impressed by the success of her newly installed Starlink broadband and Elon Musk’s business acumen.
Seeking information on how to invest in Starlink shares, she searched for “Starlink shares” online and encountered an offer for an IPO (initial public offering) of shares in the company.
Mary registered her interest by providing her name, email, phone number, and the amount she intended to invest, with $10,000 being the minimum. Subsequently, she received a call from “Mr Daniel Maxwell-Stewart,” a person with a British accent claiming to work for an Australian-based share broking firm. The company presented itself with a professional-looking website and authentic business ID numbers.
The phone conversations appeared routine until “Mr Maxwell-Stewart” requested formal identification, including passport details, credit cards, and a bank statement. Mary became uneasy when asked to verbally confirm her intent to proceed with the Starlink share purchase.
Recognizing the potential for scams, Mary decided to pause and conduct further research for the benefit of her family. When she inquired about why an Australian sharebroker had access to Starlink shares while local New Zealand brokers did not, she was told they dealt directly with the underwriter.
Mary’s caution likely prevented significant financial loss. Consulting with her partner and discovering a similar story on the Forexposed site about someone being offered shares by an English-accented individual heightened her suspicions. Additionally, her accountant questioned the legitimacy of the Australian brokerage’s access to Starlink shares before others, reinforcing Mary’s reservations.
Although Mary didn’t lose any money, she had to take precautions by canceling and replacing her passport, driver’s license, and credit cards. Concerns linger about the security of her private data and its potential misuse by unknown entities.