Are Aussies scam-savvy?

I was horrified when I read the statistic that the number of scams reported to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) had doubled from 2010 to 2011, and had quadrupled since 2009. I know we are by nature a trusting bunch, but how could Australians be so naïve?

But there, tucked right down the bottom of the report, was the sentence “88 per cent of Australians who contacted the ACCC last year regarding scams reported no financial loss at all”. That means only 12 per cent of people who called the ACCC lost money to scams.

I know that I receive at least ten scam emails per day in my email inbox. Most of it ends up in the spam folder, and the rest I delete without a second thought. I’ve never even considered calling the ACCC to report these emails – I would be on the phone for hours every day. So I imagine that the 88 per cent of those callers who did not lose any money represent only a very small percentage of Australians who do not get taken in by scammers.

And I think that’s pretty good. It shows that not only are Australians well-educated about scammers, most of us are also canny enough to spot a scam and dismiss it without another thought. And those who do get caught out? They have probably been targeted by the cleverest scams which use the most advanced technology (and the best English), or they’ve just been very unlucky.

Scammers may be here to stay, but I think we should all be proud of how we are handling the technological improvements they are making. So stay vigilant, stay smart, and maybe we can stop doubling the number of Australians who get scammed each year.

More information
To read more on the ACCC’s report jump to the YOURLifeChoices news article Scams double for second year.

Have you ever been contacted by a scammer?

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Do you agree? Are Australians scam-savvy, or is Rachel the one being naïve? Have your say in the comments below, and vote in the poll.

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