Drop off in scam victims
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.