Commissioner's Blog: Scam losses double in 2022
Australians are losing more money to scams than ever before, so taking a moment to consider whether there might be a scammer behind the next random phone call, text message or email you receive has never been so important.
Empowering consumers to learn how to spot a scam is the focus of this year’s Scams Awareness Week (7-11 November 2022), hosted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Scams Awareness Network.
The annual campaign coincides with the release of new national figures by the ACCC’s ScamWatch service showing scam losses have doubled this year, up from $1.8 billion in 2021 to an anticipated $4 billion by the end of 2022. In WA in 2021-22, 1100 victims reported losing almost $18 million to WA ScamNet. The true losses – both nationally and in WA – are likely to be much higher, given it’s understood that one-third of victims do not report scams.
Learning how to spot the signs of a scam can be one of the best ways to protect yourself. One clue could be when a caller or message urges you to act quickly, whether it’s a threat to make an urgent payment, a request for upfront payment or a limited opportunity too good to miss. Other indications of a scam are requests to update or provide your personal details, such as banking details or passwords, or even asking to remotely access your device.
Paying attention to the requested method of payment can also be helpful, as scammers usually ask for payment via unsecure or unusual methods such as cryptocurrency, gift cards or bank transfer.
Be wary if you hear from someone claiming they have new contact details or asking for payment to be made to a new bank account, as this could be the sign of a payment redirection scam.
Another red flag is the offer of unsolicited financial or investment advice or claims you can make fast or guaranteed money with little to no risk. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection
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