Scammers pocket $4.3m a month, on track for a record

People aged 45 to 64 most at risk, ACCC warns.

Scammers pocket $4.3m a month, on track for a record

Australians are losing $4.3 million a month to scams, according to the latest statistics from Scamwatch, and people aged 45 to 64 are most at risk.

More than $26 million has been reported lost to investment scams this year – 84 per cent of the total losses in 2017 with five months to go.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) deputy chair Delia Rickard labelled the losses ‘horrific’ and said the accounts of people losing hundreds of thousands of dollars were ‘heartbreaking’.

“Last year, Australians reported they lost $64.6 million to investment scams to Scamwatch and the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN). If the current trend continues, combined losses reported in 2018 could be in excess of $100 million.

“… the scammers are very convincing. People aged 45 to 64 are most at risk and make up more than half the reports sent to Scamwatch."

Ms Rickard said most investment scams were centred on traditional markets such as stocks, real estate and commodities. For example, scammers will cold call victims claiming to be a stock broker or investment portfolio manager and offer a ‘hot tip’ or inside information on a stock or asset. They will claim their offering is low-risk and will provide quick and high returns.

“Scammers will spend significant time and effort grooming their victims,” she said. “They will use the right technical language and also offer professional-looking websites and documents to convince victims they are legitimate. It’s often only when people try to cash out their investment that they realise their money is gone.”

Two other types of investments where scams were prevalent were cryptocurrency trading and binary options, with cryptocurrency scams now the second most common type of investment scam.

Ms Rickard explained that binary options trading involved scammers pretending they could predict the movements of a commodity or asset over a short time. “They direct you to a website with a login, account details and a trading platform. They appear to put your money into the account and demonstrate a number of successful trades to encourage you to invest greater sums. Then your money begins to disappear and so too does the scammer.”

So what are the warning signs? The strongest, she said, was how the scammer contacts the victim and the promises that are made.

“It can be very difficult to tell what is and isn’t legitimate these days. If someone calls, emails or texts you out of the blue with investment advice, don’t engage with them no matter how legitimate they sound. Hang up the phone, or delete the email or text.

“If you’re searching for new investment opportunities online, don’t always trust what you read. It’s easy for scammers to create professional-looking investment websites,” Ms Rickard said.

“Any claims like 'risk-free investment', ‘low risk, high return’, 'be a millionaire in three years' or 'get rich quick' are also easy [signs] that you’re dealing with a scammer.”

She said prospective investors should visit the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) MoneySmart website for guidance and always check ASIC’s list of companies not to deal with.

Report investment scams to ASIC and Scamwatch.

Have you had any contact with a suspected scammer this year? Did the information sound too good to be true?

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    COMMENTS

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    MICK
    25th Jul 2018
    10:37am
    The only question is WHY, I repeat WHY, does our government not put an end to this? Not exactly real hard to do.
    Also, WHY does our government not make the countries whose crooked citizens are involved in scams headline news? What does India have to offer Australia anyway as we can get offshore Call Centres in many jurisdictions.
    Anonymous
    25th Jul 2018
    11:43am
    'governments' here have zero interest in protecting the interests of the landless peasantry - the Silenced Majority - anything and everything that will work to keep the peasants off balance and wondering where their next meal will come from is good for the ruling class.....
    HarrysOpinion
    25th Jul 2018
    11:59am
    Not a priority.
    No enough allocated resources.
    No co-operation from Telcos.
    Internet is the "Wild West" - John Wayne and other like him don't exist any longer-
    What else can one say but, " BUYER BEWARE!"
    Anonymous
    25th Jul 2018
    2:20pm
    It's unfair to blame this on government.
    Crooks will always find ways to steal from the gullible
    Jim
    25th Jul 2018
    3:51pm
    Here we go again, this government is to blame, get off your band wagon Mick or whatever your real identity is, internet scams are world wide, it doesn’t matter which country you are in, or more importantly which type of government is in charge, if anyone knows of a way to stop scams then they need to inform the rest of the world and if they can prove their system they will be worth a fortune. The only way to stop scams is to never answer your phone and never turn your internet on, never open any snail mail and never look at any flyers and probably a whole other things you can do. Also never listen to anyone pretending to be something they are not, they are probably scaremongering for their chosen political affiliations or employee.
    MD
    25th Jul 2018
    8:11pm
    Reckon olbaid & Jim are spot on the money for this one. Gubbermint at every level will never, repeat never, satisfy all the people all the time, but to blame them each and every time for each and every problem suggests a severely myopic take on human fallibility.

    Any fool so easily coaxed out of their savings must have made it easily in the first place: easy come easy go. What the hell motivates silly old fools to be dabbling in double or nothing schemes ?
    Answer - they BELIEVED, because they wanted to. LOSERS!
    Ted Wards
    26th Jul 2018
    12:11pm
    Just so you know Mick the government actually does quite a lot about this issue, such as offering free online lessons to learn how to avoid scams and stay safe, they invented the scam alert reporting system and where they can, follow up and investigate. They have also instigated a raft of laws in this area. The trouble is Mick you cant protect against ignorance and stupidity...... Its like if you could stop being a keyboard warrior and blaming the government and actually investigate what the government is actually doing rather than assuming they don't do anything. As long as there is humanity there will always be greed and corruption!
    Anonymous
    22nd May 2019
    3:30am
    I got scammed by 53 Capital Trade, broker Helen Kinski. Only lost £17000 which is minimal compared to what others lost after reading this column, But what I have just found out which is worse that my personal details like my bank account, card numbers, phone and passport details have all been sold on the black market. This is a heads up to everyone else to change your details immediately after you realized you’ve been scammed because the after effects are on-going.
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    Anonymous
    20th Jun 2019
    9:51am
    Many BINARY OPTIONS, HYIP PLATFORMS will make it nearly impossible to withdraw money. The “broker” will offer bonuses to their clients under many different situations. These bonuses may be disguised as, Risk Free Trades, Guaranteed Profit, or insurance. Bonuses serve many purposes, enticing traders to increase the amount deposited and creating an illusion of security without explaining the Terms and Conditions. Once a bonus has been added to the trader’s account, they must trade a minimum of 30 Times of the bonus amount in order to withdraw their investment. For instance, if a $1,000 bonus was added to the trader’s account, they would need to complete $30,000 in trading volume in order to withdraw their funds. The broker will continuously offer bonuses for every deposit which is made.
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    wilsonborne44
    3rd Feb 2020
    2:00am
    One wouldn't really think much of this, all I really wanted to do was invest and be part of it but the way I was misled by this brokers was terrible, to easily take money from all in the name of investment and when I wanted to make withdrawals every single attempt was fruitless with constant hassle to invest more I really can't say more than I have already said. I would really consider myself to be one of the very few lucky ones as I was able to have my funds recovered from this scam Binary option brokers, although it was through unethical means as far I am concerned but what can I care after how my hard-earned funds where taken from me, these guys are the best in less than 7days all my funds including bonuses had been recovered, If your broker lost your funds trading Binary options. You can contact his mail
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    Hasbeen
    25th Jul 2018
    12:09pm
    It seems to me that the easiest people are the greedy people, those who want more for less than other peopkle.

    I'm not sure what the government can do to cure people of greed.
    Rosret
    25th Jul 2018
    2:00pm
    Not so. Charities love old people - especially those with dementia.
    A lovely soft voice on the end of the phone asking for money and they just give. We should be able to block charities and politicians robo phoning too.
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    12th Dec 2019
    6:39pm
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    Placido
    25th Jul 2018
    12:29pm
    Hasbeen first we have to cure THIS Government of greed before they will even think of the common good.
    Anonymous
    25th Jul 2018
    3:20pm
    Better just to boot the bastards out of office.
    Jim
    25th Jul 2018
    4:05pm
    So knows a lot there were no scams under any other government, placido greed is indeed the route of most scams, the lesson if it sounds too good to be true then generally it isn’t true, this of course has nothing to do with the government or any other government in the world, but quite often it has something to do with individuals greed, the government can’t legislate against greed, of course not all people are caught through greed, some of these scammers are very clever, but again how can any government stop this?
    Rosret
    25th Jul 2018
    1:57pm
    I had a friend who had endless trouble with the NBN. After months a call came from Telstra indicating something was wrong with his line. At last he thought.
    But it wasn't. It was the Telstra scam and before he knew it he had lost thousands of dollars and needed to buy a new hard drive for his computer.
    So now he is down a lot of money, a huge amount of inconvenience replacing bankcards and passwords with no redress from anyone etc ..... the NBN still doesn't work at his house!
    It wasn't his age - he was pure and simply tricked.
    Anonymous
    25th Jul 2018
    3:21pm
    Lesson: Ring Telstra to confirm the assertion.
    Eddy
    25th Jul 2018
    9:32pm
    I can sympathise with anyone 'fooled' by NBN criminals. I cannot count how many times I have received a phone call from the 'NBN' or 'Telstra" advising me that my landline and internet connection will be turned off within 24 hours unless I immediately transfer to the NBN and to press "1". I tell them to 'f--- off' and hang up (apologies to the ladies on this forum if my language offends).
    I have already had a letter from NBN advising me that the NBN will be available to my property between July 2019 and December 2019 and further advising my NBN service will be through my Foxtel cable.
    Rosret
    26th Jul 2018
    7:49am
    Knows-a-lot after months and months of phoning the Telcos for help would you hang up on someone who at last seemed as though they were there to help?
    Its easy to say in retrospect.
    Rae
    26th Jul 2018
    8:57am
    Telstra doesn't help anyone these days. So even ringing them over in Manila or wherever is a waste.
    The NBN doesn't work at a lot of houses.

    Knows a lot is right. Always ring back yourself and never ever give anyone access to your phone or computer unless you have engaged a techie yourself.
    KSS
    25th Jul 2018
    2:13pm
    In the days before the internet people were still scammed out of their money - non-existent timeshares, 'sell three bottles of this and watch the money roll in' pyramid selling schemes, resurface your driveway and fix the roof but pay me first doorstep scams etc etc etc.

    People have always been attracted to either paying less/nothing or getting something for nothing. Caveat emptor has its origins in medieval times. The phrase, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!" was first used in English in 16th century. This is not a new phenomenon. It just happens faster these days. Nothing to do with Government of any hue.

    I am quite sure after all, they too would like to meet with the Nigerian Prince or some other now deposed African, Eastern European, Russian, bloc country government officials to be able to boost their coffers with the ill-gotten gains amounting to $000000000000s
    Anonymous
    25th Jul 2018
    3:22pm
    Caveat emptor originated with the Romans.
    Jim
    25th Jul 2018
    3:55pm
    At last the voice of reason
    Rae
    26th Jul 2018
    9:03am
    We had a good one KSS.
    Very official representatives came around all the local farms telling us they could sell our yabbies and restock the dams to Asia. It sounded like a good long term deal. The contracts were well designed and fooled a solicitor or two.

    Signed contracts and paid $200 to each farmer. Times were tough and many were caught out. We kept the three best dams secret thank goodness because they stripped every dam for kms of yabbies which were sold to Asia but never saw them again. They must have made a lot of money.

    25th Jul 2018
    3:18pm
    If 'investors' weren't so greedy to make a buck, they would not be scammed. Fools and their money are soon parted.
    cupoftea
    25th Jul 2018
    3:53pm
    Any thing I buy of the internet I go through PayPal I got scammed when my computer got hijack I think they call it so I rang the told it was Microsoft paid $250 through PayPal then 30 minutes later the same thing happened rang PayPal told them they investigated 4 days later got money back
    Magic Touch
    25th Jul 2018
    7:16pm
    Dreamer i had the same problem like you before, they put 500 dollars into your paypal account 2days latter they tranfer the 500 dollars out of you account. After that they ask paypal to paythen the 500 dollars from your account. Paypal ask you can i take the 500 dollars to pay back to the person., you said yes pay them back, so paypal take money out of your card you regested with paypal to payback that guy. So your 500dollars just gone like that. I had to go through the whole lot of trouber to explain to the paypal people every time i call up paypal to keep chaseing over and over again untail paypal give me back the money.
    Sò now I never use paypal.
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    25th Jul 2018
    8:28pm
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    Rosret
    26th Jul 2018
    7:53am
    The best way to check for online scammers is the URL in the address line.
    As for phone calls have caller ID and if the number looks odd or private don't trust them.
    Ted Wards
    26th Jul 2018
    12:07pm
    Its quite simple if someone contacts you without you approaching them first, 99% of the time its a scam even if it is wrapped up in a marketing pitch. If your a serious investor or selling etc you will approach people for information until you find a suitable deal.
    Hairy
    30th Jul 2018
    8:39am
    The goverment invented the scam , lies and deceit to get your bloody vote,and the deception and lies ,discrimination continues . My rule is don’t ever believe a word from anybody especially in goverment they are lower than used car salesmen in my book.
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    7th Aug 2018
    7:17am
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    9th Sep 2018
    6:42pm
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    5th Mar 2019
    9:41am
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    7th Jan 2020
    5:21am
    Yes, I have been a victim of that kind of scam, also been a victim of some gurus who tell you they can help you multiply with their great binary option strategy, and then went I on to be a victim of some recovery guys who say they work with crypto currency authorities. But the truth is I actually hired a hacking group PYTHONAX (pythonax services @ gmail . com) who actually hacked this scammers and sent me back my money, not all of it but at least I didn’t loose all my money.

    8th Feb 2020
    1:42pm
    I recommend fundsrecovery01 to anyone in need of a recovery agent. Fundsrecovery01@gmail.com is the real deal. All my and I coins were recovered after which they took 15% of the recovery. I’m still wowed at their honesty and reliability
    Safa888
    12th Feb 2020
    6:53am
    I rarely share my story with people online and those I don't know, not only because it put me at the lowest point ever but because it made me a person of ridicule among family and some of my friends. I put all I had into Binary Options ($190,000) after hearing great testimonies about this new investment strategy. I was made to believe my investment would be triple, it started good and I got returns (not up to what I had invested). Gathered more and involved a couple family members, but I didn't know I was setting myself up for the kill, in less than no time all we had put ($420,000) was gone. It almost seem I had set them up, they came at me strong and hard. After searching and looking for how to make those scums pay back, I got introduced to Mr Chris a recovery agent who helped recover about 80% of my lost funds within a month and I was very happy so catch him up for your lost funds with Email address: Bitcoinretrieval2018{@ }gmail.com

    12th Mar 2020
    12:53am
    My total lost with these two companies was USD232,876.21 as of August 1, 2019.  I needed a major portion of this balance to pay off the down-liners who were threatening to file charges for misleading as well as fraud. Their combined balance is approximately USD300,000. ultimatefundrecovery a top wealth recovery company in the US brilliantly helped recoup 92% of my lost capital to these fraud companies all within a month. I can't thank you enough bruce wilian @ ULTIMATEFUNDRECOVERY@GMAIL.COM I am typing this with tears rolling down my cheeks! Please stay away from HYPER YIELDING INVESTMENT PLATFORMS to avoid the agony and pain I went through! Jack Wang
    WHATSAPP:+14079061584
    TEXT: +14079061584
    tar
    6th Apr 2020
    11:47pm
    A friend told me she was into this online investing platform which turned out to be coin-bits and that it was going very well for her and she was making returns from it and I thought I could try it out as well. Turns out we were both caught up in a web of deceit, they gave us only a little percentage of our investment the first month of investing and demanded that we invested more to generate higher returns and improve our withdrawing power which we did because it seemed legit as a result of the first month payout we received. It was all down-hill from that point onwards, they made us invest more for a couple of months and at some point we had to put together funds to link our portfolios so we can make a one-time withdrawal but we were never given a chance at withdrawal.

    My search for recovery brought me to stumble on an article on SEC that read thus;

    “Not all harmed investors will be able to recover money, and many of those who recover money receive less, often substantially less, than their losses from the securities fraud”. They wrote In addition, that “even when harmed investors are able to recover money, the process for distributing the money to harmed investors may take a long time” and this was even more discouraging. But right under the article was a review that countered this approach and made several reassuring statements about FASTFUNDSRECOVERY.WORDPRESS.COM and their ability to do better than most.

    When I made contact, they came up with a tailor-made solution where they focused on my specific circumstance before working out the best and most cost-effective way of helping me achieve my aims. My friend Laura followed suite immediately and she too was able to access all her funds sitting idle in a wallet.

    The Crypto investment industry is gripped with scammers, starting with the brokers and ending with individual traders. In other words, as a trader, you’re on your own. There is little trust in the industry and if you still want to be involved, you must do the job, filtering the information in front of view.
    tar
    6th Apr 2020
    11:47pm
    A friend told me she was into this online investing platform which turned out to be coin-bits and that it was going very well for her and she was making returns from it and I thought I could try it out as well. Turns out we were both caught up in a web of deceit, they gave us only a little percentage of our investment the first month of investing and demanded that we invested more to generate higher returns and improve our withdrawing power which we did because it seemed legit as a result of the first month payout we received. It was all down-hill from that point onwards, they made us invest more for a couple of months and at some point we had to put together funds to link our portfolios so we can make a one-time withdrawal but we were never given a chance at withdrawal.

    My search for recovery brought me to stumble on an article on SEC that read thus;

    “Not all harmed investors will be able to recover money, and many of those who recover money receive less, often substantially less, than their losses from the securities fraud”. They wrote In addition, that “even when harmed investors are able to recover money, the process for distributing the money to harmed investors may take a long time” and this was even more discouraging. But right under the article was a review that countered this approach and made several reassuring statements about FASTFUNDSRECOVERY.WORDPRESS.COM and their ability to do better than most.

    When I made contact, they came up with a tailor-made solution where they focused on my specific circumstance before working out the best and most cost-effective way of helping me achieve my aims. My friend Laura followed suite immediately and she too was able to access all her funds sitting idle in a wallet.

    The Crypto investment industry is gripped with scammers, starting with the brokers and ending with individual traders. In other words, as a trader, you’re on your own. There is little trust in the industry and if you still want to be involved, you must do the job, filtering the information in front of view.

    31st May 2020
    7:48pm
    Hack Ethics is a Verified Experienced Binary Options Recovery Specialist and Professional Hacker that provides the experience, intelligence, expertise in Asset Recovery and successfully solve ANY DESIRED HACKING SERVICES YOU WANT with ease which includes BINARY OPTIONS FUNDS RECOVERY, CREDIT REPAIR, PHONE & SOCIAL MEDIA HACKS and so on. 

    People have lost their hard earned money through this BINARY OPTIONS TRADINGS, yet they would go to meet FAKE HACKERS who are also scammers unknowingly to help them recover their money and they would end up losing more money in the process. These Scammers also tend to put Fake Testimonies out there just to steal more from you by giving you False hope. I understand how heartbreaking it is to be a BINARY OPTIONS SCAM VICTIM after you've been promised your fortune by Binary Companies and then they ignore your Emails or Calls after stealing from you.  I'm taking every step to render solution to those innocent people affected and help them get every penny they lost.  CONTACT  EMAIL  -  HACKETHICS008@GMAIL.COM 
       REPOSTING MY ARTICLE ON EVERY PLATFORM AND FORUM TO HELP VICTIMS OUT THERE.

    9th Jun 2020
    6:54pm
    Hack Ethics is a Verified Experienced Binary Options Recovery Specialist and Professional Hacker that provides the experience, intelligence, expertise in Asset Recovery and successfully solve ANY DESIRED HACKING SERVICES YOU WANT with ease which includes BINARY OPTIONS FUNDS RECOVERY, CREDIT REPAIR, PHONE & SOCIAL MEDIA HACKS and so on. 

    People have lost their hard earned money through this BINARY OPTIONS TRADINGS, yet they would go to meet FAKE HACKERS who are also scammers unknowingly to help them recover their money and they would end up losing more money in the process. These Scammers also tend to put Fake Testimonies out there just to steal more from you by giving you False hope. I understand how heartbreaking it is to be a BINARY OPTIONS SCAM VICTIM after you've been promised your fortune by Binary Companies and then they ignore your Emails or Calls after stealing from you.  I'm taking every step to render solution to those innocent people affected and help them get every penny they lost.  CONTACT  EMAIL  -  HACKETHICS008@GMAIL.COM 
       REPOSTING MY ARTICLE ON EVERY PLATFORM AND FORUM TO HELP VICTIMS OUT THERE.
    jinar
    14th Aug 2020
    5:06am
    hi guys, when it comes to recovery of funds either from binary options, crypto, forex and ponzi schemes . FASTFUNDSRECOVERY@PROTONMAIL.COM are the best recovery agent around. they have recovered my funds and also funds of my friends , colleagues who were in similar situation as i was.


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