Scams

Monthly average losses to NBN scams almost triple in 2019

Australians are losing more money to NBN scams, with reported losses in 2019 already higher than the total of last year’s losses.

Consumers lost an average of more than $110,000 each month between January and May this year, compared with around $38,500 in monthly average losses throughout 2018 – an increase of nearly 300 per cent.  

“People aged over 65 are particularly vulnerable, making the most reports and losing more than $330,000 this year. That’s more than 60 per cent of the current losses,” ACCC Acting Chair Delia Rickard said.

Australian businesses hit hard by email scams

Australian businesses reported more than 5800 scams with losses exceeding $7.2 million in 2018, a 53 per cent increase compared to 2017, according to the ACCC’s Targeting scams report.

Much of this increase is due to the $3.8 million reported lost to sophisticated ‘business email compromise’ scams. When combined with losses reported to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network, these scams cost Australian businesses over $60 million.

Targeting scams: report of the ACCC on scam activity 2018

This report explains key trends in scam activity and highlights the impact of scams on the community.

Payment demanded by gift card? It’s a scam

Gift cards are increasingly the payment method of choice for scammers. Scamwatch reports show more than $5 million was lost in 2018, a 38 per cent increase compared with 2017.

iTunes cards accounted for $3.1 million in losses – a 156 per cent increase from the $1.23 million reported in 2017. However Scamwatch has also seen an increase in reports involving other gift cards such as Google Play,  Amazon, and Steam cards, and Australia Post Load & Go prepaid debit cards.

Don’t swipe right on a scammer this Valentine’s Day

Scamwatch is urging tech-savvy daters to be on the lookout for romance scammers this Valentine’s Day as data shows these scams are increasingly happening through social media and dating apps.

“Scammers tend to go where people are, and in the dating world that increasingly means on social media and dating apps,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

Women are particularly at risk to losing money to romance scams with Scamwatch data showing they are four times more likely to report losing money compared to men.

Watch out for holiday season scams

Scamwatch is warning people to be careful about being caught out by holiday season scams.

“Scammers will take advantage of special days or major events like Christmas to fleece people of their money or personal information,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

Here are three common holiday season scams people should look out for:

Hackers targeting businesses’ emails in sophisticated scam

Scamwatch is calling on businesses to urgently review how they verify and pay accounts and invoices as reports of business email compromise (BEC) scams to Scamwatch have grown by a third this year.

“This is a very sophisticated scam, which is why many businesses only realise they’ve been caught out once it’s too late,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

New initiative aims to keep scams out of Indigenous communities

The ACCC and state and territory consumer affairs agencies have today launched a new scams awareness initiative called ‘Too good to be true’, and will work with Indigenous communities on ways to identify and avoid scammers.

The project is being managed under the National Indigenous Consumer Strategy (NICS), and is aimed at engaging, educating and empowering Indigenous consumers to stay one step ahead of scammers.

NICS members include the ACCC as the NICS Chair, ASIC, state consumer affairs agencies and the Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network (ICAN).