The impact of scams
Scams cost Australians, businesses and the economy hundreds of millions of dollars each year and cause serious emotional harm to victims and their families.
- Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and often use technology or cunning tactics to prey on people.
- Scams target people of all backgrounds, ages and income levels across Australia – all of us are vulnerable to a scam at some time.
- In 2018, Australians made more than 177 000 scam reports to ACCC’s Scamwatch, and reported a total loss of more than $107 million.
- Between 1 January and 31 May 2019, Australians made 75 646 reports to Scamwatch, with a total loss of $46.3 million.
- The ACCC’s Targeting scams report found that in 2018, Australians submitted more than 378 000 scam reports to Scamwatch, Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) and other federal and state-based government. Total losses exceeded $489 million, a $149 million increase from 2017.
- Investment scams and online dating scams continue to be the most financially devastating scams affecting Australians, and business email compromise scams are quickly catching up with them.
- Older people have been particularly vulnerable to scams. People aged 65 and over submitted the largest number of reports to Scamwatch in 2018, while people aged 55 to 64 had the highest reported losses.
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Further information and reading
Source: Information is provided by Australian Competition & Consumer Commission