So far this year, Canberrans have lost $5.5 million from 8,439 scams reported to Scamwatch, marking exponential growth on 2020 numbers where for the entire year $3.1 million was lost from 7,235 scams.

With Scams Awareness Week underway, 8-12 November, Canberrans are reminded to speak up if they’ve been scammed.

Last month alone, ACT residents lost $794,384 to scams from 978 reports, while nationally, Australians are falling victim to scammers in record numbers.

Official figures reveal Australians reported total losses of $175 million to scams in 2020.

In the first 10 months of this year, the ACCC’s Scamwatch received over 253,843 reports of scams accounting for more than $248 million in losses.

Carmel Franklin, CEO of Care, the ACT’s community financial counselling and consumer law service, said that anyone can become a victim.

“We have experienced an increase in the number of clients who have fallen victim to scammers, or suspect they are being scammed, in line with the rise in the use of digital technologies,” she said.

Ms Franklin said Care is particularly concerned about Canberra’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities, which are now falling victim to threat-based scams.

“These scams involve someone from a fake ‘government department’ or ‘security services’ threatening sanctions against the victim or their family if they don’t pay up,” she said.

Having a conversation about scams with your workmates, friends and family is an…

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