2016 sees a 47% increase in scams reported in Australia costing close to $300 million.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) annual report released today states a marked increase in scams since 2015.
Some 200,000 reports have been compiled from ACCC’s ScamWatch, Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACCORN).
Australians over 55 accounted for 45% of the reports to ScamWatch.
Investment scams (totally $59 mil) and dating and romance scams ($42 Million) featured high on the list with social media platforms often being the launch pad for these scams.
As consumers you need to be aware and go in with open eyes, these scammers are clever and clearly pray on the vulnerable ( just by amount given to dating and romance scams) so if someone you may have become friends with on say Facebook or a dating site starts to ask you for money your alarm bells should be ringing loud and clear… run run away fast. Report it. Don’t fall for this.
The other interesting thing to watch out for is online store scams, a good rule of thumb is if the deal is to good to pass up compared to the genuine price of the goods then its properly is a scam 9 times out of 10. The product properly doesn’t even exist as the store is just front to rip you off. Before you purchase anything do some research on the business, look for ratings or reviews about the store. If you do purchase Only pay using secure payment methods such as Paypal or a credit card which often cover the fraud unto a certain amount.
The best defence against scams is education and awareness. Consumers concerned about scams should visit www.scamwatch.gov.au to keep up to date with scams to look out for, report scam activity, and get information about what to do if they become a scam victim.