Australians lose more than $2 million to jobs & investment scams in one week

Maria Nikolova

Scamwatch data shows that Australians reported more than $2 million in losses due to jobs & investment scams during week to August 20, 2017.

August seems to be a very active month for scammers in Australia, as suggested by the latest data from Scamwatch, an organization run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Whereas the first week of August saw a 128% jump in the sum of money lost to jobs & investment fraud, the third week of August has seen a huge amount of such losses being reported to ACCC.

Scamwatch data shows that Australians reported more than $2 million in losses due to jobs & investment scams during the August 14-20 week. This month is likely to be among the months with highest losses due to investment fraud for Australians this year.

Image: Scamwatch.

The amount lost by Australians due to fraudulent investment schemes has reached $15,246,831 in the first seven months of 2017. The sum lost reflects 1,016 reports submitted to ACCC, with the biggest losses incurred by those aged 55 to 64 years.

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 amount to approximately $300 million.

The police have also stepped in to help tackle fraudulent activities. The Queensland Police, for instance, have recently launched an “R U in Control?” campaign targeting fraud.

The purpose of the campaign is to help Queenslanders avoid becoming a victim of cyber and financial crime.

“We are also seeing vulnerable Queenslanders targeted daily with cold call investment scams, malicious emails and fake website scams,” Commissioner Stewart said.

The biggest part of the losses due to cold calling in 2016 related to offers of investment opportunities in binary options, according to ACCC’s annual report on scam activity for 2016.

Estimates, quoted by the Queensland Police, show that organised crime costs the Australian economy $21 billion per year with $8.5 billion of that figure directly related to cyber, identity and corporate crime.

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