Cyber scams have been rising at an alarming rate over the decade ­– even more so in remote work set-ups amid this current climate of financial, employment and psychological uncertainty.

As such, Bankwest is calling to end the stigma of embarrassment as victims of fraud, urging people to warn family and friends in time for Scams Awareness Week this November 8-12.

This comes after Bankwest’s Scams and Fraud team found that scammers have duped more than $16 million from customers in the past 12 months since September 2020. And while the bank was able to salvage half that sum – but recovering funds is not always possible.

In total, Bankwest recorded more than 2,700 cases and more than 11,500 calls concerning scam issues, with remote access/IT scams being the most common at 29% volume and Investment/Job scams being the most profitable at $4 million.

The former involves criminals posing as tech support to unlock a victim’s computer and install malware for continued access, while the latter banks on emails that introduce opportunities for crypto investments and help the victim set up fake trading platforms.

However, the most malicious scam was the “business email compromise,” which entails a hacker gaining access to and editing business invoices, replacing payment details with their own bank accounts. Although this scam only accounted for 3% of the cases, it ended up snatching $1 million…

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