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Australians Lost Over AU$2 Billion to Scams in 2021

www.financemagnates.com 04 July 2022 09:13, UTC
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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) revealed on Monday that reported losses of Australians on scams mounted to nearly AU$1.8 billion (around $1.23 billion) in 2021. It further mentioned that one-third of the scam victims do not report their losses, taking the total losses far beyond AU$2 billion ($1.37 billion).

The report was published by collecting data from Scamwatch, ReportCyber, and 12 financial organizations and other government agencies. While the number of reports to Scamwatch saw a yearly surge of 33 percent, the lost amount soared by 84 percent.

“We also know that the true cost of scams is far more than just financial – it leads to emotional stress and can have life-changing consequences for many individuals, families, and businesses,” the report published by ACCC detailed.

Record Investment Scams

Out of the total reported figure, investment scams dominated with AU$701 million in losses, followed by payment redirection scams and romance scams each of which led to AU$227 million and AU$142 million, respectively.

The growing popularity of cryptocurrencies also fueled the increase of investment scams in the country.

Complaints about phishing and identity theft scams dominated with over 93,000 incidents reported to Scamwatch. Further, there were more than 32,000 complaints about scammers making threats to life and arrests, over 21,000 incidents of false billings, and more than 20,000 incidents of online shopping scams.

The statistics further show that elderly individuals beyond 65 years of age were the most targeted victims, with 46,286 complaints and AU$82 million in losses. Scammers even targeted minors below 18 years of age, but the reports and losses remained significantly low compared to other age groups.

“Worryingly, some of the more vulnerable members of the community are reporting increasingly high losses. Indigenous Australians, older Australians, people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities and people with disability are losing far more than ever before,” the report stated.

However, Australians are not the only ones to fall from scams. A UK trade body last week revealed that Britons lost more than £1.3 billion to frauds and scams in 2021.

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