In Australia, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Scamwatch reported 18,243 scams in April 2021, leading to losses worth AU$14,629,022. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, more than 6,415 scams have been reported, leading to AU$9,800,000 worth of losses. Some of the common scams include phishing for personal information, online shopping, and superannuation scams.
The scammer feigns to be a part of a government agency providing information on COVID-19 via text messages and emails to get user data in these scams.
These emails and messages have malicious links and attachment designed to steal personal and financial information. In these scams, the scammers take advantage of people in financial difficulties due to COVID-19 by trying to rob their superannuation or providing unnecessary services and charging a fee. The scammer uses several excuses and asks for information about the superannuation accounts. They offer support to access money in one’s superannuation.
They would ensure that the user is not locked out of the account. In light of the rising scams in the country, the Australian government has requested the citizens to update the software on their electronic devices regularly. By doing this, the citizens can protect themselves against cyber criminals as well as other online threats. Scamwatch, in its February release, highlighted the increase in romance baiting scams. ACCC reported AU$37 million in losses in 2020 because of these scams.
The regulator indicated that it expects the numbers to increase as scammers take help from these dating apps to attract the victims into investment scams.