Australians report losses of nearly $4.2m due to investment scams in April 2019

Maria Nikolova

Losses due to investment fraud reached $4,176,716 in April, according to the latest data by Scamwatch.

Scamwatch, the body operated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), has just published its latest data about scams, with the numbers revealing that losses due to investment fraud reached $4,176,716 in April, barely changed from March levels.

The number of reports was 446 last month. People from 55 to 64 years of age were those most active in reporting such scams, whereas those from 35 to 44 years of age suffered the biggest losses.

During the first four months of the year, Australians reported $14.3 million in losses due to investment fraud. The month with the biggest losses since the start of the year is February ($4.9m).

Image source: Scamwatch.

In 2018, Australians submitted a total of 3,508 reports about investment scams and reported losses amounted to $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).

The large majority of investment scams are still focused on traditional investment markets like stocks, real estate or commodities. For instance, 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.

Two other types of investments where scams are prevalent are cryptocurrency trading and binary options. Cryptocurrency trading scams have increased significantly in the past 12 months and are now the second most common type of investment scam offer pushed on victims.

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