This Scams Awareness Week, let’s talk scams

 In Home News Section, Home Slider Section, Uncategorized

Scams cost Australian consumers, businesses and the economy hundreds of millions of dollars each year and cause serious emotional harm to victims and their families.

Collectively, reports made to Scamwatch, ACORN, ReportCyber and Australia’s top 10 financial institutions totalled 444,164 in 2020, with total losses of $851 million.

This devastating impact is why during Scams Awareness Week, 8-12 November 2021, Australians are being encouraged to talk openly about scams and how we can prevent them.

Investment scams and romance scams continue to cause the most financial loss reported to Scamwatch, with over $96 million in losses to investment scams and $32 million to dating and romance scams this year so far.

Kai, who contacted Scamwatch this year, almost fell victim to an investment scam when he saw an advertisement on the Internet about high-profile celebrities promoting Bitcoin.

The link in the advertisement took him to a website, where he registered. He was then contacted over the phone and asked to pay a deposit.

Kai tried to make the payment of $500, but his bank blocked the transaction. His bank said the company were based in Nigeria, not the UK as Kai was led to believe.

The scammer kept contacting Kai and insisting they were registered with ASIC, but luckily Kai knew they were scammers and avoided losing any money.

Kai was lucky to avoid financial harm, but many Australians lose money and are emotionally impacted by scams. And many people who experience a scam never report it. There can be a few reasons for this, but one is that people can feel shame around talking about scams.

So during Scam Awareness Week, we encourage everyone to have conversations about scams, as this not only helps to reduce stigma around the topic but can prevent scams from happening in the first place, or help people get out of a scam sooner.

Everyone can help prevent and disrupt scams by starting the conversation with their friends, family, loved ones, and colleagues or even with strangers.

For more information about Scams Awareness Week 2021, visit the Scamwatch website.

There is more information about how to protect yourself and what to do if you have been scammed on our website.