Scams

Hackers targeting businesses’ emails in sophisticated scam

Scamwatch is calling on businesses to urgently review how they verify and pay accounts and invoices as reports of business email compromise (BEC) scams to Scamwatch have grown by a third this year.

“This is a very sophisticated scam, which is why many businesses only realise they’ve been caught out once it’s too late,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

New initiative aims to keep scams out of Indigenous communities

The ACCC and state and territory consumer affairs agencies have today launched a new scams awareness initiative called ‘Too good to be true’, and will work with Indigenous communities on ways to identify and avoid scammers.

The project is being managed under the National Indigenous Consumer Strategy (NICS), and is aimed at engaging, educating and empowering Indigenous consumers to stay one step ahead of scammers.

NICS members include the ACCC as the NICS Chair, ASIC, state consumer affairs agencies and the Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network (ICAN).

Warning about fake charity scams

Scammers are increasingly using fake charities or impersonating real charities to take advantage of people’s generosity and compassion, with losses reported to the ACCC’s Scamwatch increasing steadily over the past four years.

This week is Charity Fraud Awareness Week and Scamwatch is warning people to watch out for fake charities and offering some quick and easy precautions to take to ensure their money goes towards a legitimate charity organisation.

Consumers urged to be wary of celebrity endorsement scams

People are increasingly being caught out by celebrity endorsement scams, with reports to Scamwatch increasing 400 per cent and losses increasing a staggering 3,800 per cent so far in 2018.

These scams often appear as online advertisements or promotional stories on social media or a seemingly legitimate, trustworthy website. They include fictitious quotes and doctored or out-of-context images of the celebrity, such as presenters from the TV show Shark Tank, promoting a product such as skin care creams, weight loss pills, or investment schemes.

Beware scammers wanting access to your computer and bank account

Scammers are increasingly catching out people by impersonating well-known businesses or the police so they can get access to computers and steal money or banking information. 

The ACCC’s Scamwatch website has recorded a significant spike in these types of scams, known as remote access scams, with more than 8000 reports recorded in 2018 so far and losses totalling $4.4 million. 

Beware investment wolves knocking at the door

Scamwatch is warning the Australian community to be wary about investment scams, with statistics revealing Australians are collectively losing $4.3 million a month to these scams.

In 2018, more than $26 million has been reported lost to investment scams—already 84 per cent of the total losses recorded in 2017. This represents an average month on month increase in losses of 117 per cent compared to last year.

Threat and kidnap scams target Chinese community

The ACCC’s Scamwatch service is warning the Chinese community in Australia to be wary about two frightening scams targeting them that involve threats of arrest, and extortion via fake kidnappings.

In 2018, Scamwatch has received nearly 1700 reports about these scams, with losses totalling $1.15 million. Losses have come from NSW, Victoria, Queensland or Western Australia; however the scam is targeting people nationwide.