Every year, thousands of Australians are targeted by scams, whether it be online, via phone, mail or even in person.
Australian Community Media has compiled a list of current scams identified on sites such as scamwatch.gov.au, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s website dedicated to informing people about fraudulent and dishonest activities:
Betting and sports investment scams
Betting and sports investment scams are often a form of gambling disguised as legitimate investments. Most of the schemes or programs do not work as promised and buyers cannot get their money back. In many cases the supplier simply disappears.
Computer prediction software
- Scammer will try to sell you a software program that promises to accurately predict sporting results, usually of team sports or horse racing and promise high returns or profits as a result of the program’s use.
- Team sports betting programs claim to identify opportunities based on historical trends and the different odds offered by various bookmakers. Horse racing software will often claim that predictions are based on weather conditions, the state of the horse, the draw, or the condition of the jockey.
- Often the information used in these programs can be obtained from the betting pages of your local newspaper at very little cost.
- You will need to pay a compulsory fee (often in excess of $15,000) to join and open a sports betting account.
- The scammer tells you that they will use funds in the account to place bets on behalf of the syndicate. You, and other ‘syndicate members’ are promised a percentage of the profits.
- Schemes are usually promoted as business opportunities or investments at trade fairs, shows or via the internet. People may also be contacted via an unsolicited phone call, email or letter.
- Scammer will use technical or financial terms such as ‘sports arbitrage’,’ sports betting’, ‘sports wagering’, ‘sports tipping’ or ‘sports trading’ to make these scams look like legitimate investments. Promotional material is often glossy and sophisticated.
- The scammer may also claim company is registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
Business email compromise scams
Business email compromise scams caused the highest losses across all scam types in 2019 costing businesses $132 million, according to the ACCC’s Targeting Scams report.
Almost 6,000 reports were made from businesses in 2019, with $5.3 million in reported losses. False billing was the most commonly reported type of scam which includes business email compromise scams.
Other scams reported by businesses include online shopping scams where the business attempts to buy equipment online and the product never arrives.
- Scammers intercept legitimate…