Home > Latest News > Scams On The Rise, With Losses Up 87 Per Cent To $236 Million

Scams On The Rise, With Losses Up 87 Per Cent To $236 Million

If you feel like you’ve been targeted by a scam lately you’re definitely not alone. In the lead-up to Scams Awareness Week – November 8 to 12 – figures released by Scamwatch say there have been 242,000 reports, a 50 per cent rise from the same period last year.

From January 1 to October 17, there were 19,154 reports of identity theft, 35,351 reports of threat-based scams and 59,491 reports of phishing.

So far this year Australians have lost more than $236 million to dodgy dealings, but Scam Awareness Week aims to help ease that toll by encouraging “open and honest conversations about scams” so we all know what is happening and can put actions in place to detect, prevent and avoid scams.

People aged 65 and older are still most at risk, accounting for the highest losses at 15.6 per cent, but an increasing number of younger people are victims.

Those aged 35 to 44 account for 15.3 per cent, while people aged 25 to 34 tally 14.4 per cent.

“Stop scams. Speak up” is the manifesto for Scams Awareness Week 2021, with more than 350 partners across government, private and community organisations banding together to put an end to the turmoil.

“The more we talk about scams, the more awareness we have, and the harder it is for scammers to steal our money or personal information,” says ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard.

“There is no need to feel ashamed or embarrassed about being scammed, because it can happen to anyone, but sharing your experiences with others can help disrupt and prevent scams.

“Scams can affect anyone, and data from the reports we receive at Scamwatch shows how easy it is to fall for a scam.”

This year, scammers continue to impersonate government agencies such as the ATO and Australian Border Force. The flubot malware scam has also continued to evolve through different variants, proving scammers are increasingly adaptable to solutions.

“Scams are becoming more and more sophisticated, using technology to make their scams even harder to detect,” says Rickard.

“Scammers adapt and in a moment of inattention, it is unfortunately all too easy for even the most careful person to click on a message or fall for another type of scam. But your experience can help warn others to be even more careful.”

If you think you’ve been scammed, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

If you think you may have been scammed, report it to the Scamwatch website.

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