AU$229m lost to scam­mers in 2015

Fiji Sun - - World News -

Syd­ney: A rise in the so­phis­ti­ca­tion of scam­mers trap­ping vic­tims into bo­gus in­vest­ment schemes helped Aus­tralians lose AU$229 mil­lion (FJ$353.25m) to scams in 2015.

For the first time, the Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion (ACCC) has col­lated its scam data with the Aus­tralian Cy­ber­crime On­line Re­port­ing Net­work (ACORN) to give a clearer pic­ture of just how much Aus­tralians are be­ing ripped off. ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said the com­bined data showed in­vest­ment scams caused AU$41m (FJ$63.23m) in losses, with AU$6.3 (FJ$9.72m) lost by vic­tims over the age of 55. “In­vest­ment scams come in many dif­fer­ent guises in­clud­ing busi­ness ven­tures, su­per­an­nu­a­tion schemes, man­aged funds and the sale or pur­chase of shares or prop­erty,” she told the ABC. “One of the rea­sons is Aus­tralia has been in a low in­ter­est rate en­vi­ron­ment for quite some pe­riod now, and re­tirees or those ap­proach­ing re­tire­ment are re­ally con­cerned about how they can grow their re­tire­ment fund, so we think that may be mak­ing them more vul­ner­a­ble to scams. “We also think that scam­mers tar­get coun­tries like Aus­tralia, they’re aware of our su­per­an­nu­a­tion schemes, they re­alise peo­ple have money to in­vest later in life and that we’re a wealthy coun­try.”

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