In 2013, more than 91,000 people reported scams to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, an increase of nearly ten per cent. The reported financial losses totalled almost $90 million, representing a slight decrease from 2012.
Beyond the headline figures, our recent Scam Activity Report identified some alarming trends. Dating and romance scams moved to number one in terms of financial losses, with more than $25 million reported lost. The number of people reporting phishing and identity theft scams climbed by 73 per cent. Overall, scams delivered online wreaked the most havoc with reported losses totalling more than $41 million.
The common thread behind these types of scams is that victims don’t really know who they are dealing with. Intelligence gathered by the ACCC shows scammers are highly skilled at building deceptive relationships. They invest weeks, months or even years developing trust before striking, leaving a trail of financial ruin and untold personal stress.
How do you tell if there person you’re dealing with online is friend or foe? The ACCC has released a ‘Scam Identifier List’ to help you identify and disengage from a scammer online.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission