Australians lose millions of dollars each year to scams. In the year to date, there have been 122,148 reported cases totalling an alarming $64,862,6901.
By now, most of us are fairly savvy to the more common scams, like the one involving the Nigerian prince who’s offering a generous reward in exchange for you sharing your bank account details with him, but these days scammers are becoming more and more sophisticated in the tactics they use to gain access to your hard earned money.
The way scammers lure unsuspecting victims varies and includes unexpected inheritances or winnings, fake charities, dating and romance, and even threats and extortion.
The most common delivery method for a scam is still by phone, followed closely by email.
The reason that overseas scammers target Australians is that ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) doesn’t have international jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute them.
It’s important to be cautious if you get an unexpected call or email from someone you don’t know who says they have a fantastic investment opportunity for you or that they need you to confirm your personal details.
It’s also important not to be embarrassed if you realise you’ve been scammed. It happens to the best of us!
One way to protect yourself, as well as others, is by reporting a potential scam to a government agency. The MoneySmart website has a list of agencies who deal with various types of scams.
Even if the scammer doesn’t end up being prosecuted, reporting them may save others from becoming victims themselves.
1https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/types-of-scams Accessed 16 October 2017.
This article is general information only. Readers should consider getting financial advice before making financial decisions.