Sun. Jun 16th, 2024

The scam trends costing Australians $2.7 billion

Alex Thompson By Alex Thompson Jun10,2024
Australians lost $2.74 billion to scams in 2023, with the annual figure declining for the first time in seven years.
Over 600,000 scam reports were filed nationwide last year, according to the latest Target Scams report by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
While the number of scams reported increased by 18.5 per cent, the total amount of money taken from victims decreased from $3.15 billion in 2022.
It’s the first time the total annual financial loss to scams has declined since 2016.

Deputy chair of the ACCC Catriona Lowe said the milestone is “encouraging” and highlights the impact of a coordinated effort to disrupt scammers, including the launch of the National Anti-Scam Centre (NASC) last July.

“We are optimistic that our combined efforts will continue to reduce scam losses,” she said.

“We will continue this important work because losses remain too high and behind the numbers are real people who have lost money, often every last cent, to scams.”

What are the scam trends?

The Targeting Scams report identified trends by combining data from Scamwatch, ReportCyber, the Australian Financial Crimes Exchange, IDCARE and the Australian Securities & Investments Commission.
According to this data, investment scams cost Australians $1.3 billion last year, despite a decrease of 7.8 per cent since 2022.

Losses from remote access scams have increased to $256 million, while romance and phishing scams are on the decline, with losses of $201.1 million and $137.4 million, respectively.

Many continue to fall victim to phone call scams, resulting in the highest reported losses of any contact method at $116 million.

However, losses from phone or text scams are in decline, while those sent via social media increased by 17 per cent to $93.5 million between 2022 and 2023.

Who are the scams targeting?

Most age groups reported a decrease in losses, however, people over the age of 65 are the only group to experience an increase.
Older people suffer the greatest harm at the hands of scammers, with a 13.3 per cent increase in 2023 to $120 million in losses.

Meanwhile, people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities continue to have higher average reported losses.

Scams involving ‘threats to life, arrest or other’ are most prevalent in these communities, making up 54.4 per cent of losses.

The median loss reported for this type of scam is $57,500.

How can you avoid a scam?

NASC Scamwatch has several handy tips for Australians to avoid being scammed.
Among other advice, people are urged to avoid making any hasty decisions, as scammers often succeed by creating a sense of urgency.

They advise the public to question who they’re communicating with and act quickly if something feels wrong, especially if they’ve shared financial information or transferred money.

Alex Thompson

By Alex Thompson

Alex is an award-winning journalist with a passion for investigative reporting. With over 15 years of experience in the field, Alex has covered a wide range of topics from politics to entertainment. Known for in-depth research and compelling storytelling, Alex's work has been featured in major news outlets around the world.

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2 thoughts on “The scam trends costing Australians $2.7 billion”
  1. It’s great news that the total annual financial loss to scams has finally decreased after so many years of increasing numbers. The efforts by organizations like the National Anti-Scam Centre are clearly making a difference in protecting consumers. However, it’s concerning to see that investment scams still cost Australians $1.3 billion. More awareness and education are needed to combat these deceitful practices.

  2. It’s concerning to see that despite the overall decline in scam losses, investment scams are still costing Australians a significant amount of money. Hopefully, with continued efforts and awareness, we can further reduce these losses in the future.

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