Australians report more than $8m in losses due to investment fraud in August 2019

Maria Nikolova

The losses are considerable despite being lower than in July 2019, the latest data from Scamwatch show.

Scamwatch, the body operated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), has earlier today posted the latest data about fraud, with the numbers revealing that losses due to investment scams subsided in August 2019 when compared to record levels from July but still remain considerable.

Australians reported a total of $8,142,718 in losses due to investment fraud last month. This compares with more than $12 million reported loss due to such fraudulent activities in July. The biggest losses were reported by those from 35 to 44 years of age. Three age groups were most active in submitting reports: 25 to 34 years; 35 to 44 years; 45 to 54 years.

The losses resulting from investment fraud have already exceeded $44 million this year.

Data source: Scamwatch.

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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