Australians are losing more to scams

AUSTRALIANS ARE LOSING MORE TO SCAMS

SCAM ACTIVITY IN 2016:

* Losses rise to $299.8m ($229m in 2015)

* Not the total loss as many victims don't report

* 200,103 reports about scams (v 130,800)

* Based on reports to Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network

* Record 155,035 reports to ACCC's Scamwatch alone (up 47 per cent; largest increase in reports since 2011)

* Bulk email scams main driver of increased reports

* $3 billion estimate of total losses to personal fraud - Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014/15 survey with 1.6m victims

TOP SCAMS FOR FINANCIAL LOSSES:

* Investment scams - $59m (v $41m)

- 45-54 age group most affected

* Dating and romance scams - $42m(v $54m)

- 55-64 age group most affected

HOW MUCH INDIVIDUALS LOST (ACCC figures):

* 92 per cent of people who reported to ACCC did not lose any money

* Total losses reported to Scamwatch dipped to $83.56m - $48.4m of that from online scams

* Half of those who lost money lost less than $500 - indicating most common scams are 'high volume, low value'

* Average loss $7226

* 355 people lost $50,000 or more

* Ten lost $500,000 to up to $1m

* Two lost more than $1m

- One was $1.6m lost to online investment scam

* Losses due to computer prediction software and sports investments scams down 68 per cent to $1.8m

* Losses to hacking quadruple to $2.9m - plus $20.79m reported to ACORN

TOP THREE SCAM CATEGORIES BY REPORTS TO ACCC

* Top three account for 36 per cent of all scams reported to Scamwatch

* Phishing (attempts to gain personal information) - 24,925 reports; $373,860 lost by 194 victims

* Advance fee frauds (send money upfront to receive reward) - 16,830 reports; $6.5m lost by 957 victims

* False billing scams - 14,634 reports; $659,835 lost by 565 victims.

Source: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's 2016 Targeting Scams report.

© AAP 2017

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