Almost half a billion dollars were lost by Australians due to scams in 2018, according to an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) report released on Monday.
The report stated that the ACCC-controlled Scamwatch and other government agencies received over 378,000 scam reports in 2018, with the total combined losses from scams exceeding AU$489 million — AU$149 million more than the year prior, up 41.7% year on year.
“These record losses are likely just the tip of the iceberg. We know that not everyone who suffers a loss to a scammer reports it to a government agency,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
Of that total reported amount, AU$107 million was reported to Scamwatch.
In 2018, Scamwatch received 177,516 scam reports, which is a 10% increase from the 161,528 scams reported in 2017, and a 94% increase compared to 2013. The increases are a reflection of a growing scam problem as well as a better awareness by Australians of where to report scams, the ACCC said.