Millions lost through scams
AUSTRALIANS were scammed out of more than $81 million last year and online dating and romance cons were the most financially damaging, an ACCC report revealed.
The Targeting Scams report, released on Monday ,revealed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission received more than 90,000 complaints last year.
Dating and romance scams were ranked first for resulting in the most financial losses. The report said Australians lost about $28 million in romance scams which made up 34% of all money lost.
Investment fraud came in second as most financially damaging.
Australians lost $21 million in those scams.
ACCC deputy chairwoman Delia Rickard said the report also showed last year’s financial losses were about 8%, or $7 million, less than 2013.
She said she was pleased about the decrease and it “hopefully” reflected the increasing awareness of Australians.
“However, actual losses are likely to be much higher than what is reported to the ACCC. People report scams to a number of agencies, some don’t recognise that they have fallen for a scam, and unfortunately many others are too embarrassed to report their experience,” she said.
The report said online scams attributed to a loss of about $47 million and phone calls were the most popular scamming delivery method.
Last year, more than one third of people lost between $110 and $499.
The report also showed it was not just the elderly who were conned.