Australians are still reeling from the revelations of the royal commission chaired by Kenneth Hayne QC into the misconduct by advisers, banks and the priority placed on profit rather than principle by Australia’s largest businesses. Scandals keep surfacing, banks keep apologising and regulators keep talking tough and pursuing cases through courts. The financial institutions, however, are not the only source of rorting and ripping off that consumers face.
That year of bankers, brokers and corrupted processes did not focus on other areas in which Australians are exposed to risks of rorts and rip offs that may be regarded as bad – if not worse – than the misdeeds committed to satiate the lust for cash that were unveiled to Australians in the year-long theatrical extravaganza that was the Hayne Royal Commission.
Hackers in hoodies, fake lovers on dating sites, providers of illegal financial or tax advice and promoters of dud investment schemes are complicit in drawing vulnerable people into their web of misery that results in serious financial loss.
Tom Ravlic, the author of Vulture City – How Our Bankers Got Rich on Swindles, looks at the consumer landscape and draws on case studies, government reports and his own experience over a quarter of a century in dealing with financial services professionals to provide readers with insight into the techniques and sleight of hand used by crooks, charlatans and thieves to siphon funds from honest, hard -working Australians. The book also offers tips and strategies to minimise the risk of becoming a victim.
Tom Ravlic is an investigative journalist, author and academic with more than 23 years’ experience in reporting on and analysing politics and regulatory affairs for local and international media. He cut his teeth with almost a decade of journalism writing about accounting and finance and breaking stories for a range of print and online publications including metropolitan newspapers, business magazines, professional journals and overseas newsletters. Tom returned to journalism in September 2016 after spending 12 years in the finance sector in various roles dealing predominantly with regulatory and policy analysis, corporate governance, government relations and risk management. Tom’s expertise has been recognised in recent years with casual academic appointments to teach audit and assurance as well as assist in curriculum development. His work has been published in Retail Banker International, Card International, The Accountant, the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Mail, Crikey, The Saturday Paper and domestic and international professional journals. Tom is a fellow of the Institute of Public Accountants and FINSIA. He is the author of Vulture City: How Our Bankers Got Rich on Swindles (2019).
* The ACCC has reported an increase in methods and incidents of fraud, theft, etc over a decade, this is a much-needed book for many Australians to help them become aware of the risks of fraud and arms them with knowledge and questions to ask to protect themselves.
* Investigative journalist and accounting expert Tom Ravlic turns his attention to the various actors in these ongoing financial dramas and asks: who are these people cheating Australians? He explores what regulators and legislators must do in order to bring the finance sector to heel. Tom also offers some tips on seeking reliable advisers.
* Comprehensive introduction to white collar crime in Australia: what forms it takes, what to look out for etc, broken up into easily digestible chapters with checklists to follow.
* Additional resources and websites provided in an appendix.
* Filled with real life case studies covering various demographics.
* A must read for older Australians, migrants, those interested in financial issues, online security etc, and anyone wanting to protect their money and assets better.
* Tom Ravlic writes on a freelance basis for domestic and international publications such as Retail Banker International, Banking Day, International Accounting Bulletin and has also appeared in mainstream publications such as the Sunday Mail, Daily Telegraph and the Australian Financial Review. He will also be appearing in industry magazine such as Company Director and also Money Magazine in coming months.