Aussies over 65 become the largest group of victims being scammed
Aussies aged 65 years and older lost more than $49Mn to scammers, making up the largest group of victims.
A record $211Mn has been lost from January to September 19 this year, an 89% increase compared to the same period last year and higher than the $175.6Mn reported across all of last year, according to new data from the ACCC-run Scamwatch.
Scamwatch is now urging people to be extra vigilant, especially for phone-based scams, which accounted for over $63.6Mn (31%) of the losses.
Of the 213,000 reports to Scamwatch so far this year, 113,000 were about phone scams (47% of total scams).
Scammers call or text people and claim to be from well-known businesses or government to steal people’s personal information.
Since August, new Flubot malware scams masquerading as fake voicemail and parcel delivery scams have “exploded”, resulting in more than 13,000 reports in just eight weeks.
“These scams are particularly concerning in our current climate, as many people are turning to online shopping because of the COVID-19 lockdowns,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard says.
“Scammers are conning people out of more and more money, so it’s really important that everyone knows what to look out for and how to protect themselves.”
Scammers are also pretending to be from companies such as Amazon or eBay and claiming large purchases have been made on the victim’s credit card.
“When they pretend to help you process a refund, they actually gain remote access to your computer and steal your personal and banking details.”
People who speak English as a second language were the second-most targeted group, losing $29.9Mn.
Indigenous Australians reported $4.3Mn in losses to scams, an increase of 172% on the same period in 2020.
Scamwatch has noticed a significant increase in losses to phishing scams (261%), remote access scams (144%) and identity theft (234%).
Scamwatch have a dedicated page Advice for older Australians which offers some helpful tips against protecting over 60s from being a victim from a scam.
Additionally, we have a range of articles on how best to identify common scams that target older adults and how to better protect yourself from them – listed below:
- Protect yourself against phone scams from fake ‘Telstra technicians’
- Australians Over 55 lose $260 million from scams in 2019
- The 3 most common types of investment scams
- Scammers exploiting Coronavirus to target online users
- Australia’s 3 biggest cyber threats that target over 60s
- How to check suspicious email links on your mobile or tablet
- Tricks to help you identify potential email scam attacks
- 8 tips to avoid falling victim to cybercrime