AU$229m lost to scammers in 2015
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.”