“Australians Beware: Rise in Money Recovery Scams Cost Victims $2.9 Million”

Australia, Finance

Article: Australians who have been victims of scams are being warned to be cautious of offers to recover their stolen money.

The National Anti-Scam Centre has reported a rise in reports involving a money recovery element, with a total of $2.

December 2023 and May 2024.

This marks a 129% increase in the number of reports compared to the six months prior.

The majority of victims are aged 65 and older, who suffered the highest average losses.

ACCC Deputy Chair Catriona Lowe cautioned that these scams are “damaging and cruel” as they target vulnerable individuals who have already been scammed and are desperate to recover their money.

Scammers often pose as trusted parties, such as government agencies or charities, and sometimes even claim to be a victim themselves who has managed to recover their money.

Victims may also unknowingly reach out to criminals after seeing advertisements online.

The National Anti-Scam Centre has referred two websites used in recovery scams for takedown action, with one already successfully taken down.

However, it is important to note that even legitimate scam investigation services are rarely able to recover money for scam victims.

The ACCC encourages victims of scams to report the scam to the police and contact their financial institution, rather than engaging with services or individuals who claim they can recover stolen money.

The ongoing losses to scams highlight the importance of introducing mandatory industry codes to better protect consumers.

Scams are crimes, and the criminals who prey on desperate people trying to recover in the aftermath are reprehensible.

Anyone can be scammed, and that’s one of the reasons drawing attention to Scamwatch’s advice and resources is so important,” stated Ms.

Lowe.

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