Watchdog reports ‘sharp increase’ in scams

The ACCC has reported a 47% increase in the number of scams reported to them, especially on social media. It seems almost everyday we hear and read about a new scam out there trying to take money from hard-working Aussies. The latest report from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has revealed just how bad the situation is with scammers, reporting a “sharp increase” in the number of reports it receives about scams.

Reports of scams are up 47%, and the ACCC points to one place in particular where scammers are targeting people – Social Media. That’s right, you could fall victim to a scam just by using Facebook – and people are being warned to be careful of anything that looks suspicious. ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard told the ABC the most common scams were dating, romance and fake trader scams. “It can be really hard to tell who’s genuine and who’s fake these days,” she said. “Dating and romance scammers trick their victims into falling in love with them and then use their victim’s trust to deceitfully take their money. “Don’t ever wire transfer or send money to someone you don’t know because you won’t see it again.” And if you thought being older and wiser helped you avoid scams, you might be mistaken.

According to the ACCC stats, reported by the ABC, Australians over the age of 55 made up 45% of the reported scams. In total, 200,000 scams were reported Australia wide last year, costing people more than $59 million. Meanwhile, Facebook, the ACCC and other companies and organisations are working together to try and stay one foot ahead of the scammers with various technologies.

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