ACCC Says Half A Billion Dollars Lost Due To Scams In 2018

April 30, 2019
ACCC Says Half A Billion Dollars Lost Due To Scams In 2018 May 1, 2019 Riya Joshi
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recently published data which shows that Aussies have lost close to half a billion dollars due to various scams that worked in 2018. The scams cover a variety of schemes from telephone and email scams to get-rich-quick schemes. While half a billion is a lot of money, the ACCC thinks that the amount is just the tip of the iceberg.

This is mainly because the ACCC believes that not everyone who gets scammed ends up making a report.  

There are several government agencies that people can report these incidents to and they include the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Increase in Scams

What is most troubling is the increase in scams. According to records, there was a 44 percent jump in the amount lost to scammers compared to the losses in 2017. That’s a major increase and very worrying to Australian authorities.  

One of the more insidious scams plaguing Australians is the ATO scam. This usually involves people getting robo-calls threatening them with arrest if they don’t call back. There are also calls that accuse victims of enormous tax debts. The scammers then say that the only way people will be able to get rid of their tax burden is to buy thousands of dollars of Apple iTunes vouchers and send them the redemption codes. Reports say that there has been a 900 percent increase in such scams.

Another scam on the rise is what regulators call the “dating and romance” scam. This particular scam saw a 44 percent increase. In this scam, con artists would look around online dating sites for prospective victims and then contact them. They then use emotional connections to try and have their victim send them gifts and cash. It is not just Australians either. International scamming syndicates are earning billions all over the world from people who want online relationships.

Aussies Need To Be More Careful

Scammers are a lot more skilled in conning Aussies and pulling of their scams. They are highly experienced in pushing people’s buttons to get them to do what they want. That is why the ACCC has sent out a cautionary warning to prevent Aussies from falling to these scammers.

In a statement, Delia Rickard, deputy chair of the ACCC said,

If something doesn’t feel right, hang up the phone or hit delete. If the person said they were, for example, from Telstra or the ATO, find the phone number for that organization online or in the phone book, call them and let them know about the call you received. They’ll let you know if it’s genuine or a scam.

Related Articles

Alcoa turns bullish as earnings beat estimates

In the past eight months, the share price of the renowned aluminum manufacturer Alcoa (AA) remained mostly range bound between

Pound Rallies on Announcement of New Stimulus Measures

The pound hit 1.2560 against the dollar Wednesday, before drifting lower to reach 1.2530 as Chancellor Rishi Sunak gave additional

More Than 1,000 EU Financial Firms Setup In London

London is one of the most important financial hubs in the world. The Brexit saga caused a dark cloud to