Fraud on Australians rose to 340 million Australian Dollars in 2017, latest scam activity report by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has said. That’s the highest compared to any other year since it began reporting “scam activity.
Today’s report is the agency’s ninth in the series, where more than 200,000 scam reports were submitted to the ACCC.
Australian lost $300 million in 2016.
Fraud on Australians in terms of investment and dating scam
ACCC to Deputy Chair Delia Rickard expressed worry over the increasing rate of fraud on Australian citizens, where investment scams topped the losses at $64 million, indicating an increase of more than 8 per cent
Dating and romance scams is reported to have caused the second greatest losses at $42 million.
“It’s very worrying that Australians are losing such extraordinary amounts to scammers. Based on just the reports provided to the ACCC, victims are losing an average of $6500. In some cases people have lost more than $1 million,” Rickard said.
We’re specifically concerned about investment scams in Australia considering the fact that 2017 was a significant year in cryptocurrency space as thousands of Australians invested in bitcoin, ethereum, ripple through third parties that could be called Bitcoin Ponzi.
During bitcoin and other cryptocurrency boom 2017, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was quoted as saying that the boom may threaten banks’ existence
BitConnect was one of such companies that went down with their investors’ money all over the world.
Even though bitconnect paid investors, it wasn’t in commemorate with their initial investment, making them loss millions of dollars in the process.
Some are unsure of their money at the time of filing this report, some of the USI-TECH member also bought TechCoin, the company’s official ICO, which is yet to be listed in major cryprocurrency market.
We can’t specifically state whether USI-TECH is on the path of BitConnect which ended in the most unpalatable way.
“Some scams are becoming very sophisticated and hard to spot. Scammers use modern technology like social media to contact and deceive their victims. In the past few years, reports indicate scammers are using aggressive techniques both over the phone and online.”
“These scams can be very frightening. For example, scammers will impersonate the Australian Taxation Office and threaten people with immediate arrest unless they pay an outstanding tax bill. They may pretend to be from Telstra to try to hack into your computer or from Centrelink promising extra payments in return for a ‘fee’,” Ms Rickard said.
“If you’re being threatened, take a deep breath, and ask yourself if the call makes sense. The ATO will never threaten you with immediate arrest; Telstra will never need to access your computer to ‘fix’ a problem; and Centrelink will never require a fee to pay money it owes you. Finally, none of these organisations will ask you to pay using iTunes gift cards,” Ms Rickard said.
Similarly, ccn.com, a crytocurrency news website, has reported that Cryptocurrency scams in Australia rose above AUD $2.1 million in losses in 2017 alone
Cryptocurrency-related scams, relatively, account for a fraction of those total losses. Between January and September 2017, the ACCC saw about $100,000 in losses reported every month due to fraudulent activity in cryptocurrencies. However, the meteoric rise in the value of cryptocurrencies in the Q4 2017 coincided with a sharp increase in scams in the sector, the ACCC said.
“As the value of actual cryptocurrencies increased, so too did the scam losses in what people thought were real investments. By the end of the year, reports of losses related to cryptocurrencies exceeded $2.1 million but as with other scams, this is likely the very tip of the iceberg,” ccn.com quoted part of report.