This report explains key trends in scam activity and highlights the impact of scams on the community.
Snapshot of 2015
Overall contact levels and financial losses
- In 2015, losses reported to the ACCC for investment scams almost doubled to over $24 million with six people reporting individual losses of over $1 million. Additionally, computer prediction software and sports investment schemes, which are often marketed as investment opportunities, cost Australians another $5.5 million.
- Losses reported to the ACCC for dating and romance scams reduced by 18.5 per cent in 2015 to almost $23 million—a decrease of just over $5 million in losses from that reported in 2014. These scams are
the second most harmful in terms of nancial loss. The percentage of those reporting losses for dating and romance scams reduced from 41 per cent to 33 per cent suggesting that disruption initiatives and sustained messaging around the dangers of sending money to people that have only been met online has made some impact.
- Advance fee fraud including inheritance scams, reclaim scams and Nigerian scams resulted in reported losses of over $14 million.
- While losses relating to attempts to gain personal information only account for around 3 per cent of total reported losses, the deliberate misuse of personal information underpins several of the scam categories where signi cant nancial losses are reported. In terms of volume, phishing scams accounted for over
15 000 reports and other attempts to gain personal information through hacking or identity theft, brings the total number of reports to almost 27 890. This accounts for approximately a quarter of all scam reports and is 9.3 per cent more than the 25 504 reports in 2014.