Aussies are not having a great time of it as of late with the report last month that SMS phishing scams were on the rise. Now the latest report from the ACCC’s Scamwatch stating that for the month of May Australians lost a combined total of $29.8 million to scams.
The new record of close to $30 million is not only a 150% increase from May last year but is also the highest total monthly amount lost to scans since Scamwatch came into being. The new figure is also a worryingly 5% worse than it was in April.
Following the trend of last month, the phishing scams were on the rise with it reported to be $1.4 million in May, a 500% increase compared to April. Add to this $16 million lost in investing scams, over $1 million in both betting and sports investment scams and pyramid scheme scams, and $3.4 million in dating and romance scams and you can see how the total got up to the $29.8 million.
Proofpoint ANZ area vice-president Crispin Kerr, said:
“The latest figures from the ACCC’s Scamwatch are concerning. The almost $30 million lost to scams in May represents a significant increase of more than $15 million compared to April. While the total number of scams reported was slightly higher than in April at 5%, the amount of money Australians lost is disproportionate to this increase. This suggests scammers may be getting better at targeting Australians and reaping greater financial reward with less attempts.
Remaining educated and aware of current scams that may be circulating as well as knowing how to spot a scam is fundamental to keeping individuals and businesses safe. Always remember to never give out personal or financial information to an unsolicited source and if something sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.“
Scams delivered over the phone were once again the most profitable for scammers with Internet, text and email delivery also prevalent. Once again it is important to be vigilant when giving out your information to anyone and if you suspect you may be a victim of a scam contact your relevant institution or bank immediately.