Australian losses due to investment scams top $48m in first 9 months of 2019

Maria Nikolova

The latest data from Scamwatch shows that Australians reported losses of $48,094,873 due to fraudulent investment schemes in the first nine months of 2019.

Scamwatch, the body operated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), has published its latest data regarding losses due to investment scams. According to the data, Australians reported a total of $48,094,873 in losses due to fraudulent investment schemes from January to September 2019.

During this period, the month with the biggest losses was July ($12.56m in losses), whereas January was the month with the lowest losses ($1.08m).

Source: Scamwatch.

Australians submitted a total of 3,899 reports about investment scams in the first nine months of 2019. Those from 25 to 34 years of age were the most active in filing such reports. The biggest losses were suffered by those from 35 to 44 years of age.

The risks of investment scams have been recently underlined by Scamwatch, as the body posted a warning regarding get-rich-quick schemes.

In 2018, Australians filed a total of 3,508 reports about investment scams and reported losses of $38.85 million. This compares to more than $31 million reported lost to investment scams in 2017. Last year, July was the month with the biggest amount of losses ($6 million) too.

The large majority of investment scams are still focused on traditional investment markets like stocks, real estate or commodities. For example, scammers 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 that is supposedly about to go up significantly in value. They will claim what they are offering is low-risk and will provide quick and high returns.

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