Australians lose $205 million to scams in four months

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on June 07, 2022 Fact Checked
Australians lose $205 million to scams in four months

Australians have lost over $205 million to scams between 1 January and 1 May, a 166% increase from the same period last year.

According to new data from the ACCC's Scamwatch, the majority of the losses recorded over this period have been to investment scams with $158 million lost. This is an increase of 314% from the previous period.

Crypto investments were the leading source of investment scams, with a reported $113 million lost this year.

Cryptocurrency is also the most common payment process for online investment scams.

Scamwatch data has also revealed that Australians are now being scammed more via text message, surpassing phone calls as the primary contact mode. 

This is partly due to the telecommunications industry's Reducing Scams Call Code 2020, which since its introduction has blocked over 549 million scam calls to Australians. 

Delia Rickard, ACCC Deputy Chair, said more and more Australians are falling into investment scam traps.

"We are seeing more money lost to investment scams and so are urging all Australians not to trust investment opportunities that seem too good to be true," Ms Rickard said.

"If you receive an unexpected text message or phone call from someone offering you an opportunity to invest, it is likely a scam and you should immediately hang up or delete the message."

People aged between 55 to 64 reported the highest total losses to scams with $32 million lost between 1 January and 1 May. 

However, research shows that only 13% of Australians are choosing to report their losses to Scamwatch, leaving the true number of Australians affected by online scams unknown. 


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            Photo by Lindsey LaMont via Unsplash

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            Hanan joined in 2022 as a finance journalist. With a keen interest in home loans, property investing, and money saving tactics, she is passionate about educating young Australians, like herself, on all things finance.


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