The Andrews Labor Government is urging Victorians to be alert to scams, with figures revealing the state lost more than $20 million to con artists last year.
Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz today launched a new campaign to arm Victorians with tips and advice to avoid becoming a scam victim.
Consumer Affairs Victoria and Crime Stoppers Victoria will deliver education sessions at libraries across the state, focusing on helping older Victorians become more scam savvy.
More than 33,000 scam reports were made by Victorians in 2017, accounting for $22.9 million in losses – a jump of more than $4 million on the previous year.
One of those people was Sue Allen today, who was the victim of a romance scam. Ms Allen transferred $5000 to a man she had met online before she realised she was being conned.
Older people are also being targeted by scammers, with ScamWatch reporting more than $39 million in losses from people over 55 in the past year, accounting for an increase of more than $13 million from 2016.
Scammers are most commonly reaching victims over the phone and online, with phone, email, and internet scams accounting for 85 per cent of losses.
Victorians can sharpen their scam avoidance skills by taking the quiz at consumer.vic.gov.au/scamsavvy, and find useful information about how to identify and avoid online scams.
To report a scam visit consumer.vic.gov.au/reportascam or call the Helpline on 1300 55 81 81.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz
“Too many Victorians are falling prey to these scams, that’s why we’re running this campaign across the state.”
“Romance scams target those who are often lonely and looking for someone to trust – it’s appalling and heartless.”