Web spider catches scams and schemes

Illegal scams and schemes promoted on the Internet will now catch the eye of Scamseek, an Internet-document classification system developed with the assistance of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).

The Scamseek project had a $2.2 million budget with joint funding from ASIC, the Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre (CMCRC), Security Markets Automated Research Training and Surveillance and the University of Sydney and Macquarie University.

Scamseek is Australia’s largest research project in language technology, according to a spokesman, and has been developed in two phases, including a 16-month trial.

The first phase aimed to perform document classification of Internet pages that publish financial advice by unregistered advisers and illegal investment schemes. The second stage created a unified document classifier involving a Web spider that searches the Internet 24x7 for potential scam sites, which are then fed into the classifier.

These sorts of Web sites were previously identified through manual searches.

Scamseek can then assess and aggregate the risk associated with information on a Web site, identify people and companies mentioned within the text and mark sites for further analysis that are above the acceptable risk threshold.

According to ASIC director of enforcement Keith Inman, the Internet has become an increasingly popular tool for illegal schemes because of the vast number of people it can reach in a very short space of time, without ever having direct contact with investors.

“Before the development of Scamseek, ASIC [staff] would manually trawl the Internet for financial advice by unregistered advisers, illegal investment schemes, financial services scams and stock market tipsters attempting to manipulate the prices of shares,” Inman said.

Results from trials conducted using Scamseek have been positive, and a number of suspicious Web sites have been identified as potential scams or illegal schemes, the spokesman said. ASIC recently took action against Gramax Investment Club for allegedly operating unlicensed investment clubs promoted via the Internet.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Siobhan McBride

Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?