The ACCC is urging the community to ‘Wise Up to Scams’ following a $3 million increase in scam losses reported to the ACCC and a 15 per cent increase in complaints.
In particular, the ACCC are encouraging older Australians to wise up and watch out for scams that target them so they don’t have their hard earned savings stolen,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
“If you add Scamwatch and ACORN data with losses detected through scam disruption work, total scam losses exceeded $229 million last year. We know that in reality the actual total is higher still as many people never report that they’ve been scammed,” Ms Rickard said.
“The ACCC’s report reveals that investment scams and dating and romance scams resulted in the largest financial losses. There are many other scams which affect older members of the community but these two scams account for half of the money reported lost by over 55’s in 2015.”
It is worth noting that almost half (48.5 per cent) of scammer contact was by telephone, followed by email (24.9 per cent), internet (9.9 per cent) and mail (6.9 per cent).
Investment scams come in a number of forms, including business ventures, superannuation schemes, managed funds and the sale or purchase of shares or property.
Investment scams typically promise high, but not too high, rewards for low risk. Scammers go to a great deal of trouble to give the appearance of credibility, including reference to other investors who have made money from the scheme.
“With high potential profits from these scams, scammers can afford to investment significant time and resources, which has led to a number of large individual losses,” the ACCC says.
Last year the ACCC upgraded its Scamwatch website http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/ with a range of new tools, and started sending Scamwatch alerts to subscribers.
Please visit the website and familiarise yourself with what to look out for and don’t forget before you make any new financial decision send us a quick email so that we can check it out for you. We have prevented many people from being scammed.
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