Australians lose $13.3 million to investment scams in H1 2017

Maria Nikolova

The highest number of reports was submitted by people who are 35-44 years of age, followed by those over 65 years of age, according to data by Scamwatch.

Australians continue to fall victim to various investment fraud schemes – the trend has been underlined by numbers provided by Scamwatch, which is run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Scamwatch’s statistics for the first January-June 2017 period show that Australians lost $13,286,444 to investment scams in the period in question. The number of reports submitted to the ACCC during the six-month period was 910, with those between 35 and 44 years of age being the most active in reporting fraud, followed by people aged over 65.

In the six-month period, May was the month with the biggest losses reported by defrauded Australians – $3.21 million, followed by February – $2.98 million.

Let’s note that the trend seems to continue in July, as the first week of this month (July 3 – July 9) saw Australians lose $650,000 to fraudulent investment schemes.

The latest results are in tune with the findings in ACCC’s annual report on scam activity for 2016, which shows a rise of 47% in the number of scam reports in 2016 compared to 2015. Losses due to investment scams amounted to $23.6 million last year.

The numbers are not conclusive because many victims do not report their experiences. In 2016, the ACCC and the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) got a total of 200,103 reports about scams. Losses reported to Scamwatch, ACORN and from other scam disruption programs total approximately $300 million.

Most of the losses due to cold calling related to offers of investment opportunities in binary options, the report noted.

The ACCC is pushing for putting an end to scams. Its Scam Disruption project continues, with more than 2,834 letters sent to potential scam victims in 2016. Of those people that got a letter, 74% stopped sending money within six weeks. Last year, the ACCC also started collaborating with financial institutions, telecommunication providers and Facebook to put in place better scam prevention systems to make it harder for scammers to access victims or receive money from them. This work is poised to continue in 2017.

Read this next

Retail FX

Stephen Kalayjian launches educational and community platform TradeEZ

TradeEZ has partnered with online broker TradeZero to provide chart overlays that can be accessed on the TradeZero platform. In the future, the firm will be looking to partner with some of the largest firms around the world.

Retail FX

LiteFinance launches new mobile app on Google Play

The mobile app allows users to trade and copy professional traders’ positions and gain access to trading chat rooms.


ECXX taps OneTick for data management and analytics

OneTick is asset class-agnostic and currently has customers across FX, equities, futures, CFDs, FI, and options.

Industry News

$1.5 million: SEC fines BNY Mellon Investment Advisor for misstatements and omissions about ESG

Investors are increasingly focused on ESG considerations when making investment decisions.

Digital Assets

Mercuryo reaches 3 million users amid crypto payments’ US and Asia expansion

“The opportunities for linking crypto and fiat currencies are abundant. From crypto projects that require fiat solutions (like fiat on and off ramps and IBANs), through to crypto for traditional fiat systems, and solutions for fintech companies that enable clients to buy or sell crypto within their own infrastructure.”

Retail FX

Maltese watchdog warns of bogus broker Perfect Choice Trade

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), the regulator responsible for the oversight of the forex  sector in the Mediterranean island, today issued a warning against a forex broker that offers its services without having the authorization to do so.

Digital Assets

Dukascopy warns of fake website impersonating its cryptocurrency

Switzerland’s forex bank and broker, Dukascopy, today warned against a fraudulent website that have been falsely claiming affiliation with its ‎authorized brand.‎


Freetrade raises £30 million to fund business expansion

Freetrade, which calls itself a challenger stockbroker, has raised £30 million in debt financing led by a clutch of existing investors.

Digital Assets

Crypto assets under management at lowest point since July 2021

Crypto investment products registered outflows for a second consecutive week, the bulk of which came from bitcoin funds, according to data from digital asset manager CoinShares.