Australians lose $93 million to scammers in 2012

17 June 2013

ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard has launched the ACCC’s Targeting scams report, which reveals that over $93 million was reported lost by Australians last year. The ACCC received nearly 84 000 contacts in 2012, which showed a 65 per cent increase in reports of online shopping scams.

The launch of the report marks the beginning of National Consumer Fraud Week 2013 with this year’s campaign, ‘Outsmart the scammers!’, which focuses on helping Australians shop safely online.

Scammers also continued to use the phone as their preferred method of delivery, with combined voice and text message scams constituting over half (56 per cent) of all reports to the ACCC. Scams delivered online also increased to represent just over 35 per cent of all scam approaches.

“However, reports of financial losses to the ACCC are just the tip of the iceberg as victims of scams are often too embarrassed to report their experience,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“Scammers continue to find sophisticated methods to deliver scams, taking advantage of new technologies and communication methods to try and slip under your radar.”

“Nowadays it can take just the click of a button to fall victim to a scam, so it is more important than ever that we practice safe techniques when communicating with others—whether online, on the phone, at one’s business or even at home.”

The ACCC’s 2012 Targeting scams report is available from or contact 1300 302 502.

National Consumer Fraud Week is an initiative of the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce. For more information on the Taskforce and Fraud Week, including common online shopping scams, visit


The big scams of 2012 (based on financial losses and/or number of contacts)
Scam Description Amount reported lost
Advanced Fee Fraud Victims are asked to pay to access a share in a sum of money they are owed $30 203 373
Dating and romance scams Victims are duped into sending money to a scammer they think they have an online relationship with $23 311 211
Online auction and shopping scams Increasingly sophisticated scams which can use fake logos, emails or fake websites $4 038 479
Lottery and sweepstake scams Victims are asked to pay a fee to access lottery winnings $2 618 835
Computer hacking scams Victims receive a phone call about a computer virus and are convinced to provide access to their computer $1 312 794


Release number: 
NR 125/13
ACCC Infocentre: 

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