Report Shows That Fraudsters Pick Bank Transfer Over Cryptocurrencies
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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said in its annual Targeting Scams report published Monday that residents of Australia lost $851 million Australian dollars (almost $670 million) in over 444,000 reported scam instances in 2020.
The evaluation gathers information from the commission’s own Scamwatch website, Australia’s cybersecurity center Reportcyber, other government agencies, and a dozen banks and financial intermediaries. Delia Rickard, Deputy Chair of the ACCC, stated:
“Last year, scam victims reported the biggest losses we have seen, but worse, we expect the real losses will be even higher, as many people don’t report these scams.”
In 2020, the agency recorded an increase in financial losses due to investment frauds, with the overall amount reaching a record-high $328 million Australian dollars ($254 million). Scamwatch reports jumped by 63 percent to 7,295 in total, with losses totaling $66 million Australian dollars, or more than $51 million. Almost 34% of those who reported an investment fraud lost money. The average loss was $26,713 Australian dollars, or about $20,000 in US dollars.
Scammers continued to use bank transfers as the most prevalent payment method, with over $97 million Australian dollars ($75 million) stolen through such transfers, a 40% increase over the previous year. Bitcoin was the second-highest payment method, with $26.5 million in losses, or slightly more than $20.5 million, according to the ACCC. When they are combined with the “Other Payments” category, which includes cryptocurrencies such as ethereum and apps such as Zelle or Skrill, the total is $50 million Australian dollars (almost $39 million).