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More older Australians are falling victim to scams

  • November 18 2021
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More older Australians are falling victim to scams

By Jon Bragg
November 18 2021

Aussies aged over 65 lost almost $7 million to scams in October.

More older Australians are falling victim to scams

More older Australians are falling victim to scams

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  • November 18 2021
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Aussies aged over 65 lost almost $7 million to scams in October.

More older Australians are falling victim to scams

The latest data from the ACCC’s Scamwatch has revealed that older Australians suffered the most losses due to scams in October as investment scams continued to flourish.

Aussies aged 65 and older accounted for 26 per cent or $6.8 million of the money lost during the month, representing a shift from recent months where younger age groups have been the main targets.

A total of $26.1 million was lost to scams in October, according to Scamwatch, 67 per cent higher than a year ago but 18 per cent lower than September.

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“It is good to see slightly lower losses to scams in October according to the ACCC’s latest Scamwatch statistics; however, any kind of financial loss is still devastating for Australians,” said Proofpoint ANZ area vice-president Crispin Kerr.

There were 27,736 scams reported to Scamwatch in October, with 8.1 per cent reports resulting in a financial loss.

Investment scams are still the biggest money drain for Australians, with losses of $14.3 million in October, bringing the total losses for the year to almost $130 million.

“Older Australians continue to be the most impacted by investment scams as scammers can be very convincing with the promise of quick money or high returns or use a false sense of urgency to pressure people into making decisions more quickly than they normally would,” said Mr Kerr.

Money lost to ransomware and malware scams surged over 3,500 per cent from September to October, predominantly affecting Australians aged 35 to 44, who accounted for 95 per cent of the losses.

“While many people think only business and large organisations are typically the target of these type of attacks, the latest figures show individuals are not immune, with more than half a million dollars in losses recorded in October,” said Mr Kerr.

In the lead up to an anticipated record-breaking Christmas shopping season, Assistant Defence Minister Andrew Hastie has warned Australians to remain on the lookout for potential scams.

“Watch out for cyber criminals who use tricks like selling products that don’t exist, impersonating well-known brands but offering spectacular sales, or asking for personal and payment information they don’t need,” he said.

Mr Kerr echoed this warning as the number of reports and money lost to online shopping scams has continued to rise in recent months.

“When shopping online, always make sure you are purchasing from reputable and legitimate websites and conduct research if you are shopping from a new site to see if there have been any complaints or previous issues relating to scams,” he said.

More older Australians are falling victim to scams
More older Australians are falling victim to scams
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