Setting a new record.
Australians lost more money to scammers in 2017 than in any other year since the ACCC began reporting on scam activity.
According to the ACCC’s ninth annual Targeting Scams report, more than 200,000 scam reports were submitted to the ACCC, Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) and other federal and state-based government agencies in 2017. Total losses reported were $340 million – a $40 million increase compared to 2016.
“It’s very worrying that Australians are losing such extraordinary amounts to scammers. Based on just the reports provided to the ACCC, victims are losing an average of $6,500. In some cases people have lost more than $1 million,” ACCC deputy chair, Delia Rickard (pictured) said.
“Some scams are becoming very sophisticated and hard to spot. Scammers use modern technology like social media to contact and deceive their victims. In the past few years, reports indicate scammers are using aggressive techniques both over the phone and online.
“These scams can be very frightening. For example, scammers will impersonate the Australian Taxation Office and threaten people with immediate arrest unless they pay an outstanding tax bill. They may pretend to be from Telstra to try to hack into your computer or from Centrelink promising extra payments in return for a ‘fee’.”