Investment scams within Australia continued to plague residents of the country in 2019. Recently, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Scamwatch published figures which outlined that Aussies lost AU$61.61 million ($42.56 million) during the year.
As Finance Magnates previously reported, as of September 2019, AU$48.85 million was lost to fraudsters who operated investment scams. At this point, more was lost by Aussies in 2019 than in the whole of 2018. However, from this, a further AU$12.76 million was lost
For the whole of 2019, Aussie residents lodged 4,986 reports regarding investment scams. From this, 42.3 percent had incurred financial losses due to fraudulent activity.
Throughout the year, the most reports and amounts lost both occurred during July. In particular, 674 reports were made during the month, and AU$12.56 million was lost. August and December were also bad months for Australian consumers.
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ACCC: residents caught out by phone calls
According to the data provided by the ACCC, the most amount of money was lost by people who were contacted via scammers over the phone, which has historically been one of the most popular methods used by fraudsters.
During the year, just under AU$17.99 million was lost this way, with 1,688 reports made. Via the internet, social media, and email were also some of the most popular contact methods that investment scams used to trick Aussies, the data showed.
In terms of age groups, those aged between 35 to 44 lost the most amount of money during 2019 – AU$15.35 million. However, the 25-34 age group made the most reports against investment scams, coming in at 800 for the year.
The data provided by the ACCC also breaks down into genders, with males reporting the most scams as well as losing the most amount of money compared to females and Gender X.