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Older Australians losing over $21 million to scammers
Lois Lee | 승인 2019.05.09 10:05

Australians over 65 have lost over $21.4 million to scammers in 2018, according to the recent Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Targeting Scams report. 

Scamwatch received over 26,400 reports from Australians aged over 65 in 2018, representing a five per cent rise compared to 2017.   

“Scammers will scour dating sites and social media for older Australians who have recently divorced or lost a long term partner, taking advantage of those who are inexperienced with these sites and may be in a vulnerable emotional state,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“Investment scams are the most financially harmful because the scammers invest time and money into convincing sales pitches, flashy websites and even glossy brochures,” Ms Rickard added. 

Older Australians getting caught up in fake investment promises reported losses of $7.6 million, while those subject to dating and romance scams through fake relationships reported losses of $5.8 million. 

In addition, there were over 7800 reports from people with a disability or those who consider they have a ‘chronic illness’. This equalled to over $8.7 million in losses. 

Further, Indigenous Australians made 2434 scam reports with losses exceeding $3 million. This was a 79 per cent rise compared to the previous year, reporting record losses in 2018.  

Moreover, investment scams reported the highest losses among Indigenous Australians with $1.1 million reported as lost. 

“Scammers will start with a cold call to their victim promising low risk investments for high returns. They may spend months grooming their victims and once a victim invests, they’re quickly convinced to put more and more money in. As soon as the victim tries to cash in on their investment, the scammer quickly disappears,” Ms Rickard said.

Overall, Scamwatch received 177 516 reports from Australians in 2018, with $107 million reported as lost. This represented a 10 per cent increase since 2017, with an average loss of $5997. 

Lois Lee  edit@hanhodaily.com

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