Anyone can fall victim to an internet scam.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) estimates that reported scan losses will reach more than half a billion dollars before the end of the year.
This figure comes from a report released at the start of National Scams Awareness Week, themed ’Too smart to be scammed?’
“People need to update their idea of what a scam is so that they are less vulnerable,” said ACCC Deputy, Delia Rickard, earlier this week. “Scammers are professional businesses dedicated to ripping us off. They have call centres with convincing scripts, staff training programs, and corporate performance indicators their ‘employees’ need to meet.”
The ACCC indicated that investment scams and cryptocurrency investment scams are prevalent, with reported losses between January and June amounting to $14.76 million in the cryptocurrency investment scam area alone.
Often, according to the competition regulator, celebrity endorsements are faked via social media to lend credibility to such scams.
“Our advice is to be wary of ads you see on the internet. Don’t be persuaded by celebrity endorsements or ‘not to be missed’ opportunities. You never know for certain who you’re dealing with or whether they’re credible,” Rickard said.