New year, new job? Beware of scammers

Jobseekers are being urged to watch out for scammers, with new Scamwatch figures revealing Australians lost over $8.7 million to recruitment scams in 2022.

The ACCC’s Scamwatch is warning young people in particular, to protect their personal information when applying for jobs and to beware of job offers made through social media platforms or messaging services such as Whatsapp.

ACCC calls for new competition and consumer laws for digital platforms

The ACCC has recommended a range of new measures to address harms from digital platforms to Australian consumers, small businesses and competition.

The fifth report of the ACCC’s five-year Digital Platform Services Inquiry has proposed that platforms be subject to mandatory dispute resolution processes and stronger requirements for combating scams, harmful apps and fake reviews, among other measures.

Protect yourself from scams after a data breach fact sheet

A simple fact sheet you can use or share with stakeholders and consumers to raise awareness about scams.

ACCC receives additional responsibilities in budget

The ACCC has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of new work for the ACCC in scams, childcare, water trading and an extension of the ACCC’s gas inquiry role.

“We look forward to delivering on these new responsibilities, as well as our ongoing work to promote competition and fairer markets for consumers and small businesses,” ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said.

Gas inquiry

The Budget Papers highlight a number of significant challenges for Australians from rising electricity and gas prices. 

Farm businesses warned as scams targeting agricultural sector grow

Farmers and small businesses in rural and regional areas are urged to be cautious, particularly when buying heavy machinery, following a spike in scams targeting the agricultural sector this year.

Reports to the ACCC’s Scamwatch show Australian farm businesses lost more than $1.2 million to scammers between 1 January and 31 August 2022, an increase of more than 20 per cent compared to the same period last year.

ACCC warning of suspicious messages as "Hi Mum" scams spike

Scamwatch is urging the public to be wary of phone messages from a family member or friend claiming they need help, following a significant rise in “Hi Mum” scams in recent months.

More than 1,150 Australians fell victim to the so-called “Hi Mum” scam in the first seven months of this year, with total reported losses of $2.6 million. The vast majority of these scams were reported in June and July 2022.

Known as “Hi Mum” or “family impersonation” scams, victims are contacted - most often through WhatsApp - by a scammer posing as a family member or friend.

Consumers warned about fake investment opportunities as losses top $20m

Losses to imposter bond investment scams have nearly tripled in the first half of this year with consumers losing over $20 million to these sophisticated scams.

Imposter bond scams usually impersonate real financial companies or banks and claim to offer government/Treasury bonds or fixed term deposits.

People often fall victim to them after searching online for investment opportunities and completing enquiry forms via fake third-party comparison sites.

Making Australia the world's hardest target for scams

The financial and emotional devastation caused by scams every year in Australia can be reduced if government, consumer groups and the private sector work together to make Australia a much harder target for scammers, ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said yesterday.

In a speech to the Law Council of Australia’s 2022 Consumer Law Forum in Sydney last night, Ms Cass-Gottlieb said this would require a three-pronged approach.