Australians Lose Over $634 Million To Scams
According to the ACCC’s latest ‘Targeting Scams’ report, Australians collectively lost more than $634 million to scams in 2019.
Business email compromise scams accounted for most of the money lost, with individuals losing $132 million. This was followed by investment scams ($126 million), dating and romance scams ($83 million), false billing ($10.1 million), hacking ($5.1 million), online shopping scams ($4.8 million), remote access scams ($4.8 million), and identity theft ($4.3 million).
“Unfortunately, it is another year with devastatingly high losses, and scammers are constantly finding new ways to defraud Australians,” said ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard.
Over the past 10 years Scamwatch has received one million reports of scams. “When we combine Scamwatch reports with partner data, we see that Australians have reported losing $2.5 billion over that time, which is astonishing,” said Rickard.
“Over the last decade, scammers have taken advantage of new technologies and current scams are using social media apps and new payment methods that didn’t exist in 2009.”
Furthermore, these numbers understate the total losses, as it is estimated that one third of victims don’t report scam losses.
The report found that common techniques scammers use include making exclusive offers that people don’t want to miss out on, or asking for small commitments, such as completing a survey, to make the victim more susceptible to complying with larger schemes.