Almost $90 million was reported lost to scams last year, as the ACCC raises awareness during National Consumer Fraud Week.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Targeting Scams Report 2013 reveals over 90,000 Australians reported scams to the ACCC last year, with $89,136,975 million reported lost.
National Consumer Fraud Week started yesterday and the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce, led by the ACCC, will be urging consumers to ‘Know who you’re dealing with’ as reports indicate scammers reap the benefits when they take the time to develop a connection with victims.
“The fifth annual scams report highlights that relationship scams cause the most significant emotional and economic harm to victims,” ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said.
“These scammers invest considerable time and effort deceiving you into a fake romance, a fraudulent business partnership or a complex investment scheme,” Ms Rickard said.
“Their ultimate aim is to build your trust so they can steal your personal details and money,” she said.
The ACCC received nearly 84,000 contacts in 2012, with $93 million reported lost.
Legitimate businesses such as telecommunications companies, banks, online dating service providers and money remittance agencies are often used by scammers to facilitate their fraud.
“Some businesses have realised it makes good commercial sense to invest in fraud prevention systems because they can help to detect and disable scams before they reach their targets," Ms Rickard said.
“All businesses should be considering how they can be proactive in taking effective steps to minimise the likelihood they or their customers will fall victim to scams,” she said.