IFW Global has received a number of complaints about a fraudulent investment company called Agard Union Trading. This firm is selling fake shares in both real and fake companies and uses the website www.autventures.com.
The scam purports to be a private equity subsidiary of a Hong Kong company, headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, however no financial licensing information for Agard Union Trading or Dragon Harvest International (HK) Limited can be found when searching the South Korean Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) or the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) websites.
This fraud gang have targeted Australian investors, some of whom were encouraged to use their retirement savings and superannuation to make fraudulent purchases of the fake securities. Many of these victims now have to consider retirement on Social Security or an Age Pension rather than their hard-earned savings.
How It Works
This type of investment fraud is known as a “boiler room” investment scam and are usually run by transnational fraud groups who use aliases and technologies, such as VOIP phone numbers, to mask their real identities and locations.
Some of the Agard Union Trading fraudsters are known to have British accents but it is almost certain that the fraud is not located in Britain, Hong Kong, South Korea, Canada, or any other location they claim to operate from.
The client’s relationship with Agard Union Trading starts to fall apart when the fake broker begins to apply pressure to squeeze more money from their victim either by obligating the client with a larger than proposed purchase or by requesting additional payments to cover fabricated “bonds”, “fees”, or “taxes”.
Money is never returned to clients and is never invested as purported. Claimed profits or gains are completely fraudulent and do not exist.
If you are a victim of this fraud:
- Immediately report your fraud via your government fraud report portal or the Police to have your fraud put on record:
- Australia. Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) – www.cyber.gov.au
- USA. FBI IC3 – www.ic3.gov/Home/FileComplaint
- UK. Action Fraud UK – www.actionfraud.police.uk/
- Canada. Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre – www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/
- Do not send the fraudsters any more money. Requests for payment of a “tax” or “fee” in order to release your funds is a last ditch attempt to steal more money from you.
- Do not let the fraudsters gain remote access to your computer. Fraudsters will often try to “assist” you by asking you to install AnyDesk or TeamViewer to remotely control your computer mouse and keyboard.
IFW Global Investigations is a private intelligence and investigations firm that represents investors who believe they have been scammed, or duped into fraudulent investment schemes. We are strictly vetted by the NSW Police Force in Australia and the State of Florida in the USA, and you can view our credentials here.
Unfortunately we are currently unable to take on new clients for Agard Union Trading as our investigations are at an advanced stage.