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 and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s website dedicated to informing people about fraudulent and dishonest activities:
Have you been scammed?
Have you been a victim of a recent scam? Australian Community Media is interested in publishing first-hand accounts from those who have been taken advantage of by unscrupulous operators. If you’re interested in sharing your story as a warning to others, contact Anna Wolf at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Australians have lost over $8.8 million to threat based scams so far this year, and young people are reporting the highest losses.
- Threat based scammers often pretend to be from government departments and rely on fear, intimidation and people’s instinct to comply with authority, to scam victims. These scams are mainly phone-based and impersonate various officials, such as police, ATO officers or government investigators.
- So far this year Scamwatch has received more than 18,000 reports of such scams, an increase of 40 per cent compared to reports across all of 2019.
- Chinese authority scams comprised 74 per cent of all losses to threat-based scams, more than $6.5 million. These scams target Mandarin-speakers in Australian and impersonate authorities such as the Chinese embassy, police or other government officials.
- Scamwatch has recorded an increase in robo-calls impersonating government agencies, such as the Department of Home Affairs or Services Australia, which claim the victim is under investigation and to ‘Dial 1’ to speak to an investigator.
Australians have lost over $300,000 to rental and accommodation scams this year, an increase of 76 per cent compared to the same time last year, according to Scamwatch.gov.au
- These scams target people seeking new rental accommodation by offering fake rental properties to convince people into handing over money or personal information.
- The scammer will post advertisements on real estate or classified websites or target people who have posted on social media that they are looking for a room.
- After the victim responds, the scammer will request an upfront deposit to secure the property or phish for personal information through a ‘tenant application form’, promising to provide the keys after the payment or information is provided.
- The scammer may come up with excuses for further payments and the victim often only realises they have been scammed when the keys don’t arrive and the scammer cuts…