Scam activity peaks during pandemic, says Westpac

Australians getting scammed a bunch this past year

In the past 12 months more than 1.2 millions Australians have been scammed, says Westpac research.

In 2021 alone, Aussies have lost more than $130 million to scams, with the majority of these losses happening due to investment or money transfer scams. According to Westpac, people under 30  are more likely to be targeted during the scams, with one in ten impacted by a scam in the past year. 

“The scams we’re seeing are becoming incredibly sophisticated, and while you might think older age groups are most susceptible, our data actually shows scams are impacting people of all ages,” says Ben Young, Westpac's head of fraud.

The rise of scams are associated with more people working from home, shopping online and the tax season. 

“We’re seeing a rise in scams impersonating businesses or that threaten you into sharing personal information,” says Young.

In 2019, Australians saw a loss of $61.8 million due to investment scams ( especially in the cryptocurrency space). Young says that the majority of those scams are falsely endorsed by celebrities, or make promises of quick income and cash returns which entice Aussies. 

The Westpac research found that Australians lose an average of $3,000 when scammed.

“As we continue to face lockdowns, it’s an important time to be extra careful and become educated against those looking to take advantage,” says Young.

If you’re worried about scams and want to learn more on how to avoid them, check out Mozo’s tips on how to avoid scams.