Coinciding with the commencement of National Consumer Fraud Week 2012, on 19 March 2012, the ACCC released its third annual Targeting Scams Report. The report discusses scams activity and consumer fraud targeting Australian consumers and small businesses.
The report reveals that the ACCC received over 83,000 scam reports and enquiries in 2011, almost doubling that of 2010.
While this continuing increase supports growing public awareness of the ACCC as an avenue to report scams, these figures also show that scams targeting Australians continue to evolve and increase.
Scam losses reported to the ACCC totalled more than $85.6 million, a 35 per cent increase from 2010.
The report notes a shift in the preferred mode of scam delivery from online methods in 2010 to unsolicited telephone calls in 2011. Almost 52 per cent of scams reported to the ACCC in 2011 were delivered by phone.
The report highlights the ACCC’s continued activity in the area of scams awareness raising. It reflects on the 2011 launch of the highly successful SCAMwatch Twitter page which quickly gained thousands of followers.
It also reveals that the SCAMwatch website received in excess of 20.5 million hits throughout the year, almost 400 per cent more than in 2010 and welcomed almost 5000 new subscribers to its email alert service.