Investment scams in Australia are going rampant as Aussies lost more than AU$158 million in such frauds between 1 January and 1 May, according to data collated by Scamwatch. That was a yearly jump of 314 percent in investment-related fraud.

However, the total amount lost by the Australians on scams peaked at over AU$205 million in the period, which is 166 percent more than the previous year. Of course, investment scams contributed the biggest chunk to this figure.

“We are seeing more money lost to investment scams and so, are urging all Australians not to trust investment opportunities that seem too good to be true,” said Delia Rickard, the Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Despite the massive figure, the report cited that around 13 percent of scam victims report their losses, putting the actual figure higher. Also, the total count of scam reports decreased in the period, indicating that individual losses have increased sharply.

Crypto Scams

Moreover, the report highlighted that investment scams involving cryptocurrencies were much more rampant than the usual ones. Such crypto scams resulted in the loss of AU$113 million. Further, other scams used crypto as the preferred mode of payment.

“Australians should be very wary of anyone asking them to invest in or transfer money using cryptocurrency, especially if it’s someone you have only met online. Many consumers are unfamiliar with the complexities of cryptocurrency, and this can make them more vulnerable to scams,” Rickard added.

Additionally, the ACCC took Facebook-parent, Meta to court for allowing scammers to run fake cryptocurrency advertisements on the social media platform.

Meanwhile, the report revealed that scammers are likely to contact potential victims over text as the contact method with phone calls are diminishing. It is likely due to the telecommunications industry’s Reducing Scams Call Code 2020 that is blocking calls from suspected scammers.

Investment scams in Australia are going rampant as Aussies lost more than AU$158 million in such frauds between 1 January and 1 May, according to data collated by Scamwatch. That was a yearly jump of 314 percent in investment-related fraud.

However, the total amount lost by the Australians on scams peaked at over AU$205 million in the period, which is 166 percent more than the previous year. Of course, investment scams contributed the biggest chunk to this figure.

“We are seeing more money lost to investment scams and so, are urging all Australians not to trust investment opportunities that seem too good to be true,” said Delia Rickard, the Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Despite the massive figure, the report cited that around 13 percent of scam victims report their losses, putting the actual figure higher. Also, the total count of scam reports decreased in the period, indicating that individual losses have increased sharply.

Crypto Scams

Moreover, the report highlighted that investment scams involving cryptocurrencies were much more rampant than the usual ones. Such crypto scams resulted in the loss of AU$113 million. Further, other scams used crypto as the preferred mode of payment.

“Australians should be very wary of anyone asking them to invest in or transfer money using cryptocurrency, especially if it’s someone you have only met online. Many consumers are unfamiliar with the complexities of cryptocurrency, and this can make them more vulnerable to scams,” Rickard added.

Additionally, the ACCC took Facebook-parent, Meta to court for allowing scammers to run fake cryptocurrency advertisements on the social media platform.

Meanwhile, the report revealed that scammers are likely to contact potential victims over text as the contact method with phone calls are diminishing. It is likely due to the telecommunications industry’s Reducing Scams Call Code 2020 that is blocking calls from suspected scammers.