Investment schemes scams brought the greatest losses to Australians, after romance and dating scams, reveals the 2016 report of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
According to the data, the losses from various investment schemes amounted to AUD 23 631 338. Of them AUD 11.5 million were lost to 879 cases of cold calling scams involving investment opportunities in binary options and offers to buy shares at lower than market shares. Second most popular means of communication in investment scamming, is the internet.
According to ASIC, which deals with the investment scam reports, the offers involve opportunities with attractive returns and often come across as very professional. Usually the scammers have very sophisticated and genuine looking websites and social media pages and advertising.
“The data published by the ACCC indicates that Australians continue to be vulnerable to scams, including investment scams. It also shows that scammers are increasingly using online methods to reach and take advantage of Australian investors”, said ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell.
“More and more, we are seeing social media platforms being used to lure victims into investment scams. According to the most recent Targeting Scams report, online scams have increased by 130% over the previous year, and this reflects an increase in both email and social media-based scams.”