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.
Australians have already lost over $288,000 to vehicle scams in the first quarter of this year, more than all losses reported to Scamwatch in 2019, and scammers have now begun impersonating defence personnel to con their victims.
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.
With 2015 marking the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign, the Australian and New Zealand governments have launched a ballot for attendance at Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli. SCAMwatch is warning consumers to be on the alert for scammers trying to take advantage of people who want to attend this historic commemoration.
SCAMwatch is warning consumers shopping online for Christmas to watch out for fake websites selling bogus gifts. Scammers set up sophisticated sites designed to trick you into thinking they’re the real deal, including using a ‘.com.au’ domain name and stolen Australian Business Number (ABN).