Aussies scammed out of a record high $3.1b in 2022

A report reveals an 80% increase in scam losses compared to 2021.

Aussies scammed out of a record high $3.1b in 2022
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Scammers conned Australians out of $3.1b last year, according to a newly released report.

The report, by Targeting Scams, found that the average victim of a scam had lost around $20,000.

The $3.1b lost was an 80 per cent increase on the amount lost in 2021.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission deputy chair Catriona Lowe said the figures were staggering.

“Australians lost more money to scams than ever before in 2022, but the true cost of scams is much more than a dollar figure as they also cause emotional distress to victims, their families and businesses,” she said.

The report was compiled from data reported to the ACCC’s Scamwatch, ReportCyber, the Australian Financial Crimes Exchange and IDCARE.

It said the huge increase in money scammed from unsuspecting Australians was due to the increasingly sophisticated technology and techniques being used to trick victims.

Investment scams were the highest loss category ($1.5b), followed by remote access scams ($229m) and payment redirection scams ($224m).

“We have seen alarming new tactics emerge which make scams incredibly difficult to detect,” Lowe said.

“This includes everything from impersonating official phone numbers, email addresses and websites of legitimate organisations to scam texts that appear in the same conversation thread as genuine messages.

“Many Australians are losing their life savings.”

Australians had become particularly vulnerable to scams in 2022 following a spate of data breaches.

Lowe said there were hundreds of scams reported in the weeks following high profile data breaches last year.

Scammers had used stolen information to impersonate government departments and businesses.

Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones said banks needed to do more to combat the number of scams being carried out.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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