Donate safely this bushfire season

If you are considering donating to bushfire appeals, the ACCC is encouraging you to double check if the appeal or its organisers are legitimate so that your generosity reaches victims, not scammers.

“There are many worthy organisations that provide much-needed assistance to those affected by the summer bushfires,” ACCC Acting Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.

“Unfortunately, there are also scammers who capitalise on tragic events as soon as they happen and divert funds away from those in need.”

ACCC updates on scam disruption project

In August 2014, the ACCC commenced its Scam Disruption Project which aims to stop potential scam victims from sending more money to scammers. The project involves utilising financial intelligence to identify Australians sending funds to West African nations and advising them they may have been targeted by a scam.

The project commenced because losses reported for relationship scams continues to be a significant concern with total losses for dating and romance scams this year just over $23 million.

Think twice: Scammers delivering Christmas cons

Watch out for scammers trying to cash-in on the Christmas mail rush by posing as postal services, warns the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

“Australians send and receive millions of parcels at Christmas time. If you are expecting delivery of a gift for family or friends, or might receive a present, it’s important to beware of these scams arriving in your inbox,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

ACCC email scam hoax

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is warning the public that a recent spate of hoax emails have been sent out advising people they are entitled to $400.

The email claims that ACCC action against a scammer resulted in an order to pay $195,000. It goes on to state that individuals are entitled to $400 and need to ring a +009180133XXXXX number.

“This is clearly a fake email that relies upon the public trust in the organisation it pretends to represent,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

Don't book a scammer's holiday

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is warning consumers to watch out for travel scams.

The ACCC has received 1,650 complaints about travel scams this year, with $100,000 reported lost. Most complainants were contacted by phone and many were offered holiday vouchers for $2,000 or $3,000. Others were sold fake trips to Florida or the Bahamas including tickets to theme parks or cruises at greatly discounted rates.

ACCC launches Scam Disruption Project

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today launched its national Scam Disruption Project to help protect the Australian community from relationship scammers.

Earlier this year, the ACCC announced disruption of relationship scams as a compliance and enforcement priority area.

The project proactively reaches out to community members that may be targeted by scammers. The ACCC has identified these possible victims by analysing international transaction data to detect patterns consistent with fraudulent activity.

ACCC and ATO issue tax time scam warning

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Australian Taxation Office (ATO) are warning consumers and businesses to watch out for scammers hiding behind tax time to target you.

“Scammers will go to great lengths to slip under your radar and steal your money, including impersonating ATO representatives on the phone, sending fraudulent emails and even creating bogus websites,” ACCC Acting Chair Delia Rickard warned.

False billing scams hit small businesses

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is warning small business owners about false billing scams this Fraud Week after the Targeting Scams Report 2013 revealed a 45 per cent increase in complaints.

“False billing scams continue to be the most common scam targeting the small business community, with 3,672 reports received in 2013 and almost $725,000 reported lost,” ACCC Deputy Chairman Dr Michael Schaper said.

Almost $90 million reported lost to scams in 2013

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Targeting Scams Report 2013 reveals that over 90,000 Australians reported scams to the ACCC last year, with $89,136,975 million reported lost.

National Consumer Fraud Week starts today and the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce, led by the ACCC, will be urging consumers to ‘Know who you’re dealing with’ as reports indicate that scammers reap the benefits when they take the time to develop a connection with victims.