Australians lose more than $1m due to investment fraud in the second week of August

Maria Nikolova

Scamwatch received reports about $1.06 million being lost to investment scams in the week to August 12, 2018.

Investment scams continue to prevail in statistics about fraudulent schemes targeting Australians, as suggested by the latest data provided earlier today by Scamwatch, the body run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The numbers show that some $1.06 million were reported lost due to investment scams in the week from August 6th to August 12th. The amount is 7.8% higher than the level recorded in the preceding week.

The latest data are in line with those for July, which saw losses of more than $6 million due to investment scams. This represents a stark rise from June levels and takes the overall amount lost due to investment fraud since the start of 2018 to massive $31.8 million.

The number of reports about investment fraud was 263 last month, with the most active part of the population submitting such reports being those aged from 35 to 44. They were also the people who suffered the biggest losses.

Let’s note that, in late July, Scamwatch voiced its concerns about the continued expansion of certain investment scams, including binary options and cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency trading scams have grown significantly in the past 12 months and are now the second most common type of investment scam offer pushed on victims.

“The rise in popularity in cryptocurrency trading has not been missed by scammers who are latching onto this new trend to con people. These are similar to any other investment scam: the scammer will claim to have inside knowledge about price movements they will use to make you a fortune. If you invest, your money will quickly disappear,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

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