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Oz Businesses Scammed $4.7 Million, Up 23%

The ACCC’s latest Targeting Scams report reveals Aussie businesses lost $4.7 million to scammers in 2017 – a notable 23% increase compared to the previous year.

The consumer watchdog received 5,432 scam reports from local businesses last year, with $11,000 the average amount lost.

ACCC Deputy Chair, Dr Michael Schaper, affirms there’s been a “worrying and dramatic jump” in losses reported, with false billing and ’employment and investment’ scams the most prevalent. The later contributed nearly $1.7 million in losses.


Small businesses – those with less than 20 staff – were the most affected, accounting for over 50% of reports.

“False billing scams are where a scammer tries to trick a business into paying fake invoices for directory listings, advertising, domain name renewals or office supplies,” Dr Schaper asserts.

“With employment and investment scams, scammers offer services commonly used by businesses such as web page development, search engine optimisation, small business loans and business directory listings. The business signs up to what seems like a good deal but quickly discover they receive no service and that the offer was not legitimate.”

Dr Schaper has urged Australian businesses to remain aware and have preventive measures in place.

For more information, businesses are advised to visit www.scamwatch.gov.au, and subscribe to Scamwatch alerts.

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