Requests for money transfers, phishing and fake missed call or text messages are among the top five scams targeting Victorians, according to data revealed by Consumer Affairs Victoria.
Promises of large sums of money, in return for an upfront payment, topped the list with 660 reports in 2020-21, compared to just 330 in the previous financial year.
Consumer Affairs Victoria received more than 2000 reports of scams during 2020-21, with the top five being:
- money transfer scams (the promise of a cash refund for a fee) – 660 reports
- phishing (stealing personal details via email, text, or voicemail) – 567
- reports mixed call and text message scams – 315 reports
- investment and financial scams – 182 reports
- fake tradies – 105 reports
These figures make this year’s scams awareness week theme – Let’s talk scams – very timely.
Many people who experience a scam never report it to anyone due to feelings of shame, but it’s important to keep talking to reduce stigma and prevent scams from happening in the first place.
Victorians are encouraged to keep the conversation going by reminding their family and friends to do their research before sending any payment to online sellers and to never give money or bank details to claim a prize.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Melissa Horne
“There is no shame in being caught out by a scam and it’s important to keep having conversations to understand the warning signs before it’s too late.”
“Scams can cause both financial and emotional distress. The best defence is to speak out, educate yourself on what a scam looks like and continue raising awareness to prevent others falling victim.”
Reviewed 11 November 2021