$90 million lost to scams

A whopping $90 million was reported lost to scams in 2013.

$90 million lost to scams

Despite most of us knowing that scams are incredibly prevalent, a whopping $90 million was reported lost to scams in 2013. Were you almost tricked?

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released on Monday its Targeting Scams Report for 2013, which reveals that over 90,000 Australians reported scams totalling $89,136,975 million. During National Fraud Week, which commenced on Monday, the ACCC is highlighting the need for all Australians to remain vigilant and report any scams which may be circulating.

And the news isn’t good for those looking for love. While dating and romance scams only accounted for three per cent of scams reported, they topped the financial losses, with $25 million reported lost. ACCC Deputy Chair Della Rickard reported that 43 per cent of those who reported being approached by a scam admirer resulted in a financial loss. “People should be particularly vigilant in asking themselves who they are really dealing with when they meet the person online. Scammers take advantage of the internet to establish relationships behind a smoke screen, where they remain anonymous while connecting with people around the globe with the click of a button,” said Ms Rickard.

Phone scams remain the most popular, accounting for 52 per cent of those reported, however, online scams resulted in the most lost, a staggering $42 million.

It’s important to remain vigilant and the ACCC has published a Scam Identifier List to help identify and disengage from an online scammer:

  1. You’ve never met or seen them: scammers will say anything to avoid a ‘face-to-face’ meeting, whether it be in person or over the internet via a video chat – don’t excuse it away.
  2. They’re not who they appear to be: scammers steal photos and profiles from real people to create an appealing facade. Run a Google Image search on photos and search words in their description to check if they’re the real deal.
  3. They ask to chat with you privately: scammers will try and move the conversation away from the scrutiny of community platforms to a one-on-one interaction such as email or phone – ‘walk’ away if this happens to you.
  4. You don’t know a lot about them: scammers are keen to get to know you as much as possible, but are less forthcoming about themselves. Ask yourself, ‘how well do I really know this person?’
  5. They ask you for money:  once the connection has been made – be it as a friend, admirer, or business partner – scammers will ask you to transfer money. Don’t fall for a tall tale, no matter how plausible it sounds.

The report and further information on National Consumer Fraud Week is available at www.scamwatch.gov.au.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    18th Jun 2014
    I get calls or emails from scammers every second day so it doesn't surprise me that people are getting caught out by sheer weight of numbers. The scammers know that they only need to make say 20 calls and they catch someone off guard or at a low point in their energy cycle or when you could be feeling even slightly depressed. We need to be alert all the time.
    18th Jun 2014
    One of the scams going around is the letters and emails you get from some so called Barrister in Africa informing you that a relative of yours has been killed in a car accident whilst holidaying in or near Nigeria and you are the only relative. The letter informs you that you are to Inherit $5.5 Million and should contact the phone number on the letter. I have received one and so has a friend.They look official. If you receive a letter or email, ignore it. It is a scam.
    18th Jun 2014
    An oldie but goodie! Ranks up there with wanting to smuggle multi-millions out of the country and you get up to 50% if you just give then your bank account details. Anything with Nigeria is is suspect.

    More sinister is the scam that tell you a relative travelling overseas is in trouble and needs money urgently. They usually are able to target someone here who actually does have a relative travelling overseas. Tip: try to contact the travelling relative BEFORE doing anything else.
    Polly Esther
    18th Jun 2014
    Yeah it's a worry alright. A lot of people think I'm a dill, but it's just the way they dress me.
    18th Jun 2014
    Be wary of the people who say they are from micrsoft to fix you computer they ring on a regular basis to try to get you to allow them to take over your computer to fix it just hang up on them usually Indian accent
    19th Jun 2014
    But i like them, I can have a conversation with them about my windows, I have just washed them so there are no flu virus there, or act really amazed WOW how did you know that!!! but being old and senile I keep forgetting what they tell me. Sometimes though they are smart enough to know eventually that they are being played with, others are thick as a fridge door.
    If I am not in the mood then I pass them over to the wife who has zero interest in computers but knows enough street Hindi to scold them.

    18th Jun 2014
    The foolish get caught by scams...for a fool and his money is soon parted

    Common sense tells you if ANYONE asks for your banking details then it is a SCAM...it's not rocket science to understand..if you get calls about your internet having a virus or is not working correctly it's a scam..wake up folks..wakey, wakey. if you get calls from other electricity or phone providers..it's a SCAM, duh, duh.

    Even if emails are from your bank (or so it seems) if it asks for details it's a SCAM !!
    18th Jun 2014
    If someone sits beside you and asks, where do you live, what's your date of birth? what is your mothers maiden name? or what was the name of your first dog? or what street did you live in as a child? Well just be careful because chances are they are not just making polite conversation. Unless of coarse, they are wearing paramedics uniforms and trying to revive you.
    18th Jun 2014
    I get these calls regularly and usually lead them on a merry dance before they realize that I am.

    If you get these calls say "Ho, which one of my computers is that" and other nonsensical things. Mind you I do have two desktops a laptop and a IPAD as well as being able to access the internet from my phone.
    18th Jun 2014
    Wstaton, You shouldn't have said that! Now you can't use that tactic anymore. Anyway, your secret is safe with me. he he he

    18th Jun 2014
    I got rid of my land line phone, waste of money paying for hire of line.... only have mobile for folks to contact me...use USB stick for internet and skype for making calls all over the place and it's cheap as anything..this months bill for my mobile was $1...yes only $1 hee, hee. and $37 month for Vodafone internet, and 12 Gigs...that's all I need.
    18th Jun 2014
    PIXAPD. Glad to hear that you are satisfied with the $37 a month you pay for access. You must do a lot of downloading. We have two accounts here, my wife and myself. Two dongles and the total spend for both of us is about $300 a year. or less than a single solitary dollar per diem for both computers running independently and at the same time. For that we get a total of 20 or so GB which does not have to spent in monthly rations. We can go away and leave it if/when we have a holiday and we don't lose a month's worth of data by doing so. It really is a much more relaxing way to go if you don't download epic movies (at added cost) or waste data by accessing rude sites. Try it some time.
    18th Jun 2014
    TELSTRA could not beat Vodafone on price...tell you I was glad to be rid of Telstra..they should be in prison for daylight robbery
    18th Jun 2014
    Their night time charges are just as bad!!

    19th Jun 2014
    yes today online Dating sites are mostly scam , but some sites are useful and some sites are ugly and worst . Their intention is to fraud users who are looking for mutual relationship, especially for youngers there seems to so much scam for dating.

    19th Jun 2014
    I found one genuine site for senior people who are looking for true relationship and dating.
    Age is not a matter for enjoying life, If you’re senior single/ divorced/baby boomer- are you looking for new relationship, then visit this site.:)-- ElderSingle.. com --(: 100% help you to meet senior singles. Try it Free Community, Signup today

    18th Aug 2019
    It actually hurts and bring tears to my eyes when I read comments of scammed victims ripped off by BINARY OPTIONS AND FAKE HACKERS. I know actually know how it feels and hurts to lose money you have worked half of your life for to invest with the thoughts of getting returns when you are retired. It was all a scam in the end.

    STOP BEING SCAMMED BY THESE BINARY OPTIONS AND FAKE HACKERS. The Cybersecurity has had enough of complains from clients over the months who has one way or the other being a victim of the BINARY OPTION OR RECOVERY SCAMS or any desired Hacking Services. I'm willing to put an end to these unbearable swindle scheme taking over the internet and taking a step forward to render solution to those affected and help them get every penny they lost. Hack Ethics is an experienced Private Hacking and Certified Binary Recovery Expert Organization with a spare master key that no one has. Service takes just within 48 hours. Hire an Ethical Hacking Expert who's professional and real. Specialized in any desired Hacking Services. CONTACT EMAIL OR SKYPE - HACKETHICS008@GMAIL.COM. Website - https://hackethics008.wixsite.com/recoverygenius
    7th Sep 2019
    I would like to drop off few words about my negative and teaching experience about binary trading with RBOptions Cryptocurrency. And many others, I was contacted by the broker in 2015, and, despite the fact I didn’t have any knowledge about financial markets (I’m an ophthalmologist), got convinced by Richmond Andrew at I’ll have all his assistance in order to make successful trades. Alright, sounds good, why not to try?
    After putting a large amount on my account, I’ve watched how my balance would go higher and higher. And, of course, seeing this “proof” of how I’m good at it, my manager Richard made me invest more over 58000 Euro. After a couple weeks of such magnificent trading, my account ended up over 350000Euro. An excellent opportunity to file a withdraw, no? No!! They released only 1500 in order to trick me invest more 100000. I didn’t have much money at the moment and I was put on hold…Weeks after nobody would even answer my calls or my emails. It became very clear, that I’ve become a victim of a huge and shameless scam. Time passed by and I was growing disappointed and very angry with my own naive ness. Only at August 2017, I came across a recovery expert Mr Devin graham who worked against binary criminals. They gave me an amount to pay upfront and deadline for receiving my money from RBoptions. It was a little hard to believe someone over the internet and phone again, but I lost too much money and loosing just little bit more, in case if its another scam, was not that painful. So, I’ve paid, I’ve provided them with all documents related to my trading and waited, I was able to get my funds back, I feel obligated to recommend him to anyone who is have issues with his/her account manager. Feel free to reach out to him via his email address: Devingraham300@gmail.com and he will guide you on steps to take and get your funds back.

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