The Australian government has warned that scammers could steal $4 billion (US$2.57 billion) from Australians in 2022. This is almost double the losses reported in the previous year.
On 7 November, Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones announced that the Labor government would set up a new anti-fraud center within the Australian Consumer Competition Commission (ACCC) to deliver on its election promise.
In addition, the minister said the government will introduce new industry codes and changes to outdated privacy laws.
He also acknowledged the impact fraud has on people’s daily lives and said more would be done to address the problem.
“We expect it to reach $4 billion this year at a time when Australians are already struggling with rising costs of living. This will push them out of the park.” jones said Nine Network on the first day of Scams Awareness Week in Australia.
“When you look at the $2 billion to $4 billion numbers, we can’t have another year without doing anything about it.”
Increase in financial losses reported to government agencies
according to scum watchThis is an anti-fraud website operated by ACCC.
However, it should be noted that the real number is much higher as only 13% of victims reported it to the website.
ACCC Vice-Chairman Delia Rickard said her agency’s research found that 96% of the Australian population will be exposed to fraud over the five years to 2021, with half of those surveyed reported being scammed weekly or daily. It was shown that he was targeted by the master.
“Scammers are evolving rapidly, and their tactics are becoming more sophisticated and vicious.” she said in a statement.
“Much work is underway to confuse scammers, but our best defense against this kind of scam is education.”
During Scams Awareness Week, ACCC encourages Australians to learn about common scam cues, pay attention and seek help if needed.
More Australians fall victim to SMS and phone scams
in the meantime, Investigation Comparison site Finder has found that more Australians are falling victim to fake emails and phone calls.
The website surveyed 1,058 respondents and found that 3 in 4 have received a fraudulent text message or phone call in 2022. However, only 21% of them reported fraud.
Finder money expert Sarah Megginson advised Australians to ignore calls from unknown numbers.
“We send callers to voicemail. If they leave a number, we can see online if it matches a real business.” she said in a statement.
“Don’t reply to text messages or click on links. These may lead to viruses or other nasty things, or fake sites trying to steal your personal data.”
She also said that text messages should be read carefully. This is because her one of the signs of fraudulent SMS is spelling and grammar errors.