Drop off in scam vic­tims

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

THE num­ber of West Aus­tralians fall­ing vic­tim to scams has dropped dra­mat­i­cally, with fi­nan­cial losses al­most halv­ing in 2015 com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year.

In 2015, 456 vic­tims re­ported los­ing $9.8 mil­lion to scams com­pared to 657 vic­tims los­ing $16.8 mil­lion in 2014, a 42 per cent drop.

Ro­mance and re­la­tion­ship fraud top the list of scam types with $4.9 mil­lion lost last year, a 55 per cent re­duc­tion from 2014.

Pro­ject Sun­bird, a joint ini­tia­tive of Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion and the Ma­jor Fraud Squad at WA Po­lice, re­ported the amount of money sent to West African coun­tries pri­mar­ily for ro­mance and in­vest­ment fraud fell by 26 per cent in 2015.

Data shows that 72 per cent of scam vic­tims who re­ceived the first let­ter from Pro­ject Sun­bird in 2015 stopped send­ing more money im­me­di­ately, a rise com­pared to 2014. Half of the vic­tims who re­ceived a se­cond let­ter also stopped send­ing money.

Other scams went against the trend and in­creased in 2015, in­clud­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion scams, re­fund scams, em­ploy­ment scams and tax debt scams.

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