The ABS has revealed that only 2.7% of Australians were defrauded by a scam in the 2021/22 financial year, down from 3.6%.

This is in spite of a jump in the number of people exposed, with an estimated 13.2 million of us targeted.

Nearly two thirds (65%) of the Australian population who are over 15 reported receiving a scam offer or request, up from 55% in the previous period.

More than half (57%) of those who were affected reported the incident to their financial institution or even the police and other government agencies, up from the 50% of respondents in 2021.

Text messages on the rise

Australia's scammers were hard at work last year.

There was an increase in attempts made through all of the methods scammers use to reach out to potential victims.

In particular, the number of Australians targeted through text messages more than doubled, from 23% to 47% of the population.

Scammers out in force.JPG

In July 2022, the ACCC's scamwatch put out an alert about a wave of a particular fradulent text message scam.

Victims were contacted via Whatsapp or text by someone posing as a family member who is reaching out from a new phone after theirs was broken, in distress and needing money for some reason.

Deputy Chair of the ACCC Delia Rickard urged people who receive suspicious messages to independently verify that the person on the other end is who they claim to be.

"If you’re contacted by someone claiming to be your son, daughter, relative or friend, start by calling them on the number already stored in your phone to confirm if it’s no longer in use; if they pick up – you know it’s a scam," Ms Rickard said.

In 2021, the ACCC reported that the total amount Australians were defrauded $393 million.

The ABS itself pointed out that its own numbers could be conservative as not everyone realises they've been scammed.


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