Scams

Scammers targeting victims again through money recovery scams

Scamwatch is warning people to be aware of uninvited offers of help to recover money for an up-front payment, following a spike in reports of money recovery scams.

These scams target people who have already lost money to a previous scam by promising to help victims recover their losses after paying a fee in advance. Australians have lost over $270,000 to these scams so far this year, an increase of 301 per cent.

Learn how to spot a romance scammer this Valentine's Day

Scamwatch is urging people to watch out for dating and romance scams after Australians reported losing a record $56 million last year, an increase of 44 per cent.

Over 3,400 reports were received about dating and romance scams in 2021, including many people concerned about a family member who got caught up in a scam. Over half of all reports were about romance scams on social networking websites or dating apps.

Losses to scams are likely to be much higher than reported to Scamwatch, as our research shows that of all scam victims, only around 13% report to Scamwatch.

Watch out for fake online deals and avoid scammers this sales season

Australians have already lost about $12.9 million to online shopping including classifieds scams so far this year, and the ACCC is urging consumers to watch out for dodgy deals as pre-holiday sales approach.

Scamwatch has received over 26,000 reports of online shopping scams, more than the total reported through all of 2020. This is consistent with global trends from 2020 as more people shop online during the pandemic.

‘Stop scams. Speak up’ – Scams Awareness Week 2021

More than 350 partners across government, private and community organisations have joined the fight against scams in this year’s national Scams Awareness Week (8-12 November) under the theme “let’s talk scams”.

“The more we talk about scams, the more awareness we have, and the harder it is for scammers to steal our money or personal information,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

Losses reported to Scamwatch exceed $211 million, phone scams exploding

Scamwatch is urging people to be extra vigilant about scams after Australians reported a record $211 million in losses to scams so far this year, an 89 per cent increase compared to the same period last year, according to new data from Scamwatch.

The losses, reported between 1 January and 19 September, have already surpassed the $175.6 million reported to Scamwatch across all of last year.

“It’s very concerning to see these scams evolving and becoming more sophisticated to steal even more money from unsuspecting people,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said. 

Australians lose over $70 million to bogus investment opportunities

Investment scams reported to Scamwatch have cost Australians over $70 million in the first half of this year, more than the total losses reported to Scamwatch for all of 2020, and projected losses are set to reach $140 million by the end of the year.

Data from Scamwatch shows a 53.4 per cent increase in reports about investment scams received so far, up from 3,104 in the first half of 2020 to 4,763 reports so far in 2021.

In addition to taking victims’ money, scammers often commit fraud or identity theft using the information they obtained from the victim.

Computer takeover scams on the rise

So far this year scammers have stolen more than $7.2 million from Australians by gaining access to home computers, an increase of 184 per cent compared to the same period last year.

According to the ACCC’s Scamwatch, almost 6,500 Australians have reported phone calls from scammers trying to convince them to download software that gives access to home computers and their bank accounts. 

Culturally and linguistically diverse community lose $22 million to scams in 2020, reports from Indigenous Australians up by 25 per cent

Last year scammers stole close to $34 million collectively from people who identified as culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD), people with disability, and Indigenous Australians.

Figures from the ACCC’s latest Targeting Scams report released earlier this week shows losses to the CALD community represented a 60 per cent increase compared to 2019, across 11,700 reports.

Payment redirection scams cost Australian businesses $128 million in 2020

Payment redirection scams were the most financially damaging scams for Australian businesses in 2020 according to the ACCC’s latest Targeting Scams report. Combined losses reported to Scamwatch, other government agencies, banks and payment platforms totalled $128 million in 2020.

Reports to Scamwatch show that Australian businesses lost $18 million to scams in 2020, a 260 per cent increase on losses reported in 2019.

Scammers capitalise on pandemic as Australians lose record $851 million to scams

Australians lost over $851 million to scams in 2020, a record amount, as scammers took advantage of the pandemic to con unsuspecting people, according to the ACCC’s latest Targeting Scams report released today.

The report compiles data from Scamwatch, ReportCyber, other government agencies and 10 banks and financial intermediaries, and is based on more than 444,000 reports.