The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released statistics on financial scams within the country via Scamwatch, showing that Aussies have lost more than AU$30 million to investment scams so far this year.
According to data from the ACCC, Australians have lost AU$30.93 million (US$21.56 million) to investment scams in the first six months of the year. This loss is based on 3,325 reports made to the authority, with the ratio of loss to the number of reports sitting at 38.2 per cent.
According to the data, April saw the most losses for Australians, with around AU$7.04 million lost and the ACCC received the highest number of reports during this month (647 reports).
Behind April, March and June recorded the highest amount lost by Australian consumers. In the first half of 2020, residents were caught out the most by phone scams, with AU$12.7 million lost based on 951 reports.
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The statistics released by the ACCC are inline with a recent announcement from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), which said the number of reports of misconduct received from March to May this year has increased by 20 per cent when measured against the same period of the previous year.
ACCC: Scams increase in 2019
The losses incurred from investment scams so far this year, follow on from a bad previous year. As Finance Magnates reported, Aussies lost more than AU$634 million to scams during 2019.
According to the authority, the amount lost to scams in 2019 was an increase of 34 per cent to the AU$489 million loss reported in 2018. This amount is based on financial losses to scams as reported to Scamwatch, other government agencies and the big four banks (ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac).
Out of the AU$634 million lost in 2019, AU$126 million of that was lost to investment scams, the ACCC said in its report. This translates to an increase of 59 per cent when measured against the previous year.