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Why the federal police are urging you to check your superannuation balance

Australians are being urged to check their superannuation balances after a huge fraud syndicate, which hacked Australian superannuation accounts, was uncovered.

The syndicate stole identities and took more than $10 million from retirement funds and share trading accounts.

Melbourne woman, Jasmine Vella-Arpaci, 21, was yesterday charged with 53 fraud offences for her part in the scam.

The Australian Federal Police has asked Australians to check their superannuation balances as soon as possible to ensure they haven’t been defrauded.

Alex Dunnin, superannuation expert and director of research at Rainmaker, said most Australians rarely check their superannuation.

“You might do it once a year. If you’re doing it more than that you’re a super keen super fund member and there’s not too many of us out there!,” he told 3AW’s Ross and John.

He said this fraud could shake up the superannuation industry.

“I think this is going to be a Pearl Harbour moment for a lot of super funds.”

Mr Dunning said the scam seems to have been relatively unsophisticated.

“The weird thing about this particular fraud is that it seems that the person went through and contacted the fund and they changed your age,” he said.

“Therefore the super fund thought you had retired and therefore they were taking out pension-type payment withdrawals.

“I wouldn’t mind wagering that some of these IDs were probably found by somebody just going to apartment buildings.

“We’ve all been there and we’ve seen how there’s all of these letters all over the pavement, particularly when it’s raining, they’re overflowing from letterboxes at apartments where no one lives anymore.

“They may have just been picked up that way. It’s so easy.”

But if your superannuation account has been plundered, don’t panic.

“I would imagine that if a super fund has had a fraud like this, and they realise it, they’ll reimburse the member,” Mr Dunnin said.

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