Australians lost a record $139 million to scams in H1 2021

Edward G. | July 15, 2021

Australians have reported 124,315 scam events since the beginning of the year, resulting in a record $139 million in losses, according to data examined by the Atlas VPN research team.

The analysis is based on the information provided on the Scamwatch.gov.au site, which is an official website run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Findings reveal that monetary damages to internet crime jumped by 45% in H1 2021 compared to the second half of 2020 when Australias’ citizens lost nearly $96 million.

The increase is even higher if we compare H1 2020 TO H1 2021. Scammers swindled almost $80 million from Australians pockets in the first half of 2020, which is 74% less than damages in the first half of 2021.

Findings also uncover the shocking fact that June 2021 was a record month in terms of losses as Australians suffered over $31 million in damages from various types of internet crime. These losses are the highest ever since the inception of scamwatch in 2018.

May was the second-worst month ever when fraudsters stole nearly $30 million of Australian citizen’s hard-earned money. Finally, losses exceeded $20 million during every single month of Q1 2021.

Worth noting is the fact that the majority of damages were caused by investment scams. They accounted for over $70 million in losses. Dating & romance, false billing, and remote access scams were also among the most damaging fraud types.

Damages state-by-state

Criminals tend to prefer some regions over others when choosing their victims. Here, we will analyze each state in terms of losses and the number of scam reports.

Scammers have targeted New South Wales the most. In H1 2021, there were 38,324 fraud cases, accounting for more than 30% of all frauds reported. Residents of New South Wales have been duped of over $45 million in total.

The state of Victoria in Australia has suffered the second-largest financial losses owing to fraud, with a total loss of $35 million. They are responsible for roughly a quarter of all scam reports, with 31,479.

Queensland is in third place, with 23,814 reports originating from this state. Citizens in this region suffered nearly $26 million in losses due to various types of internet crime.

People living in Western Australia also got hit by a significant amount of scams, as they submitted 11,884 fraud reports totaling nearly $10 million in damages. Internet users in South Australia lost close to $7 million and submitted 8,696 cases of internet crime.

Next up is the Australian Capital Territory, where fraudsters swindled more than $2 million from unsuspecting victims. Here, Australians submitted 2,394 scam cases. Finally, the Northern Territory lost $526,495 on the internet and sent out 1,201 fraud reports.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission urges Australians to stay safe on the internet and if they notice any suspicious activity or have fallen victim to a scam, submit their reports to scamwatch.gov.au.

Edward G.

Edward G.

Cybersecurity Researcher and Publisher at Atlas VPN. My mission is to scan the ever-evolving cybercrime landscape to inform the public about the latest threats.

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