Australians lost over $851 million to scams in 2020, a record amount, as scammers took advantage of the pandemic to con unsuspecting people, according to the ACCC’s latest Targeting Scams report released today.
Australian businesses reported over $14 million in losses to Scamwatch due to payment redirection scams last year, and average losses so far in 2021 are more than five times higher compared to average losses in the same period last year.
Australians reported a record-breaking $37 million lost to Scamwatch last year for dating and romance scams. Total losses are expected to be much higher and scammers are now using dating apps to lure victims into investment scams.
Australians are set to lose a record amount to scams in 2019, with projections from losses reported to Scamwatch and other government agencies so far expected to exceed $532 million by the end of the year, surpassing half a billion dollars for the first time.
Scams reported to the ACCC involving identity theft or the loss of personal/banking information have cost Australians at least $16 million this year, and this figure is likely to be just the tip of the iceberg.