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Top 10 Scams In Australia, 2023

Top 10 Scams in Australia
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In 2023, Australians fell victim to scams resulting in a staggering AUD 455 million in losses, as reported by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Scamwatch. The number of scam reports surged to over 280,000, a substantial increase from the previous year’s 239,000 reports. Nearly one in ten reports led to financial losses, with May recording the highest losses at over AUD 53 million.

Investment scams emerged as the most costly, accounting for over AUD 275 million in losses from January to November. These scams encompassed various fraudulent schemes including cryptocurrency scams, Ponzi schemes, fake bond scams, and fake celebrity-endorsement scams. Scammers often exploited the trust of Australians by impersonating well-known personalities such as former Sunrise host David Koch and mining magnate Gina Rinehart. These scams typically promised substantial returns and employed pressure tactics to coerce victims into investing hastily.

Dating and romance scams ranked second in terms of losses, amounting to AUD 33.58 million. Scammers posed as individuals seeking romantic relationships to gain the trust of victims, ultimately exploiting their emotions for financial gain.

False billing scams rounded out the top three, with losses totaling AUD 26.32 million. Victims received deceptive requests for payment for goods or services they never ordered, often through methods such as email, including misleading claims of impending auto-renewal fees.

Australians were predominantly targeted through text messages, accounting for over 100,900 reports. However, phone calls resulted in the highest losses, exceeding AUD 110 million. Older Australians, particularly those aged 65 and over, suffered the most significant financial losses, amounting to AUD 114 million, followed by those aged 55 to 64 at AUD 94 million.

The top 10 scams of the year, ranked by the amount lost, were as follows:

Investment scams – AUD 275,923,066
Dating and romance scams – AUD 33,580,806
False billing scams – AUD 26,322,284
Phishing scams – AUD 25,219,813
Jobs and employment scams – AUD 23,633,028
Remote access scams – AUD 15,276,563
Threats to life, arrest, or other – $13,802,434
Identity theft – AUD 8,180,300
Rebate scams – AUD 7,950,216
Classified scams – AUD 7,531,428

Phishing scams were the most frequently reported, with Australians making over 99,000 reports. These scams aimed to deceive individuals into divulging personal information such as bank details, passwords, and credit card information.

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