75% of Australians have received a scam call or text this year


If you’ve received a scam call or text message this year, you’re definitely not alone. a new study by comparison site Finder shows that 75% of Australians have been contacted by a scammer, either by calling or texting.

These findings have been released as we begin Scams Awareness Week 2022 – a time set aside to educate Australians on how to spot a scam and what to do about it.

The Searcher A study surveyed 1,058 Australians and found that three in four had received a scam text or call this year.

That’s the equivalent of 15 million people.

But what have we done?

Only 21% reported the scam and only 4% realized it was a fraud.

Australians lost more than $2 billion to scammers in 2021, including $10 million from fraudulent text messages, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Scamwatch also reported over 50,000 phishing scams in 2022.

“Australians have been inundated with scam text messages and phone calls in recent years and know how easy it can be to fall victim to these scams,” says Finder money expert Sarah Megginson.
“Telecommunications carriers are now taking a more active approach to deterring these scams, but it’s still important to know how to spot one.”

The Australian Communications and Media Authority set new rules on June 30 that require telecom operators to identify, track and block SMS scams.

Telecom operators could face fines of up to $250,000 if they fail to comply with this new code.

Here are some tips to avoid being the victim of a fraudulent call or text message:

– Do not answer calls from unknown numbers, let them go through voicemail and check if the number is from a real company.

– Be careful to avoid the “mom scam” which usually involves a message from WhatsApp or Facebook claiming to be a parent who has lost their phone and needs help. This scam alone brought in $2.6 million in the first seven months of the year.

– Do not reply or click on links in text messages. These could lead you to malicious sites seeking to harvest your personal data or link to viruses.

– You can spot a scam text message as it often contains bad grammar and bad spelling.

With Christmas approaching, online shoppers need to be especially alert to the alarming increase in scams.

Finder says three in five Australians have already started gift shopping with less than 50 days to Christmas.

“Sales frenzies can give way to scammers to take advantage of shoppers rushing to grab a bargain and arrange giveaways as the holiday season approaches,” Megginson says.

“If you search for the best deals online, you may come across genuine scam sites selling items at heavily discounted prices.

“If you’re unsure of the site’s reputable reputation, a quick Google search for reviews will usually bring you up to speed and can also help you determine if the products are legit.

“If you think you have been scammed, contact your bank and telephone company immediately and report it to Scam watch.”


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