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Aussies Scammed Over $200M So Far This Year

Australians are falling victim to online scams at an alarmingly increasing rate.

Between January 1 and May 1, Australians lost over $205 million to scams, a 166 per cent increase compared to the same period last year, according to new data from Scamwatch.

The actual number is likely to be closer to the one billion mark, as Scamwatch estimates only around 13 per cent of victims report their losses.

Dodgy investment scams are the biggest drain, making up $158 million of the $205 million, and jumping by 314 per cent year-on-year. Of these, $113 million are crypto investments.

Imposter bond scams, where a scammer impersonate real financial companies or banks and claims to offer bonds or fixed term deposits, made up $10.9 million.

“We are seeing more money lost to investment scams and so are urging all Australians not to trust investment opportunities that seem too good to be true,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“Australians should be very wary of anyone asking them to invest in or transfer money using cryptocurrency, especially if it’s someone you have only met online. Many consumers are unfamiliar with the complexities of cryptocurrency and this can make them more vulnerable to scams,” Ms Rickard said.

People aged 55 to 64 were the hardest hit, losing $32 million during the period, with over 80 per cent of these being investment scams.

 


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