Scams cost Australians $45 million in six months
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's ScamWatch website has revealed that between January and June in 2015, $45 million was siphoned out of Australian bank accounts and into the pockets of scam artists.
This is only 10.3% of reported incidents and equates to about $9000 a claim.
ScamWatch has tips to avoid falling victim to a scam this year:
- Beware when shopping online - if it's too good to be true, it probably is;
- Always research thoroughly if you're unsure of the legitimacy of a person or company. Don't send money or give out your financial information to sources you don't fully trust;
- Never open suspicious attachments or emails - delete them straightaway;
- Take steps to prevent identity theft. This could include putting a lock on your letterbox, destroying old bills, and storing your pin numbers in a safe place;
- Always use a passcode to lock your digital devices. It's good practice to switch passwords every few months. Don't pick passwords that are too easy to guess; and
- Never agree to transfer money or goods for another person. It might turn out to be money laundering, which is a criminal offence.
If you've sent money or personal banking information to a scammer, contact your bank or credit union immediately. If you suspect you are a victim of identity theft, contact iDcare - a free government-funded service.
Where to go to report a scam
|Type of incident||Agency|
|Banking||Your bank or financial institution|
|Cybercrime||Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network|
|Financial and investment scams||Australian Securities and Investments Commission|
|Fraud and theft||Your local police - call 131 444
In Victoria call your local police station
|Spam||Australian Communications and Media Authority|
|Tax related scams||Australian Taxation Office|
|Other scams||ACCC via Scamwatch|